Moscow: The special envoy of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un begins his week-long visit to Russia Monday, during which de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula will be discussed.
Choe Ryong-hae, a member of the politburo presidium and secretariat of the Workers` Party of Korea would also focus on strengthening North Korea`s bilateral relations with Russia.
"There will be three sets of issues on the agenda," said Russia`s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.
The first would be the issue of North Korea`s nuclear programme; to be more precise, the outlook for de-nuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, Ryabkov stated.
"(The second issue would be) security in the north-east Asia. Besides, there is the theme of bilateral relations between Moscow and Pyongyang, which have gained certain momentum of late," Ryabkov said.
The bilateral relations between the two countries, particularly their trade ties, have acquired a new dimension over the past few months.
Russia has written off North Korea`s debt and there are plans for building up bilateral trade to $1 billion by 2020.
Moreover, a project called "Pobeda" (Victory), with an estimated value of $25 billion, has been planned for the upgrade of the North Korean railways by a group of investors from Russia, in lieu of access to North Korea`s natural resources.
Specific joint plans for projects in energy and agriculture may also be discussed.
The two parties have also begun mutual settlements in the Russian rouble.
A business council will be established within the framework of the inter-government commission.
However, the Russian foreign ministry said that the unsettled nuclear problem of North Korea remains a brake on cooperation.
The outlook for resumption of the six-party talks on this issue requires frank discussion, Moscow believes.
Special envoy Choe`s visit will be the third visit by a senior North Korean envoy to Russia this year.
Last February, Russia welcomed the chairman of the presidium of the Supreme People`s Assembly Kim Yong-nam and last October, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong had come calling.
This is being seen as a renewed effort by North Korea to move closer to Russia.