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Japan closely monitors situation in N Korea, visit by Russian delegation

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 Japan closely monitors developments in North Korea, including the visit of a Russian government delegation to Pyongyang, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said on Wednesday.

“Japan closely monitors the situation in North Korea, including [the visit of the Russian delegation to Pyongyang] and conducts information gathering and analysis. In respect of Russian-North Korean relations, the government abstains from commenting,” Matsuno said, adding that Tokyo, as presented in the joint statements of the Japanese-US-South Korean foreign ministers and G7 foreign minsters, decisively condemns alleged arms shipments from North Korea to Russia, citing the risk of deterioration of the situation in Ukraine and violation of the UN Security Council resolutions.

The Russian delegation, headed by Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Alexander Kozlov, arrived in the North Korean capital on Tuesday to take part in the intergovernmental committee for cooperation on trade, economy, science and technology, North Korean state-run news agency KCNA reported earlier in the day.

In mid-September, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un paid a five-day visit to Russia, his first one since 2019.

During the trip, he held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Vostochny spaceport in Russia’s Far East.

Kim also met with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and inspected Russian military aircraft.

The Kremlin said no agreements had been signed as a result of the talks.

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