North Korean delegation flying to Russia for talks on 'mutual cooperation'

Move comes amid rising tensions between Pyongyang and the US

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who is not part of the delegation
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who is not part of the delegation

A North Korean delegation is heading to Moscow for talks on mutual cooperation, the Russian Embassy in North Korea has said.

"The delegation flew to Moscow for consultations in the Russian Foreign Ministry on the vital issues of bilateral cooperation," the embassy wrote on its Facebook page.

The sides plan to discuss joint events to be held dedicated to the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, according to Russian news agency Tass.

The move comes amid rising tensions between Pyongyang and the US over the secretive state's continued development of nuclear weapons.

Despite US-led international sanctions on Kim Jong-un's regime, Russian tankers have reportedly continued to supply fuel to the country.

Donald Trump at the State of the Union: North Korea's reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland

Americans officials have warned countries that continue to maintain economic relationships with North Korea are circumventing sanctions and undermining the global effort to curb the hermit kingdom.

Earlier this year, in an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting convened in response to Pyongyang’s latest launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, America’s ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley warned some countries were “continuing to fund the North Korean nuclear program”.

Heralding the UN for imposing the “most impactful sanctions that any country has experienced in a generation”, Ms Haley said there were nevertheless reports of North Korea “illegally obtaining refined petroleum” through ship-to-ship transfers.

She urged other countries to sever “all ties” with North Korea, including ceasing trade and expelling North Korean workers.

In December, a delegation from Russia's defence ministry visited Pyongyang.

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