Kremlin says its right to closer ties with North Korea should not be in doubt

FILE PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets Russia's President Vladimir Putin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Thursday that Russia's right to develop closer ties with North Korea should not be in doubt or a source of fear for anyone, saying the potential for the two countries' relations was very deep.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov made the comments to reporters when asked about Western fears that Moscow may revise its policy towards Pyongyang due to Western pressure on Russia over Ukraine and, in particular, may transfer missile and nuclear technology to it.

"It is our neighbour, it is a friendly country with which we are developing bilateral relations. We will continue to do so in an upward direction," said Peskov.

"The potential for the development of our relations is very deep. We believe that our right to develop good relations with our neighbours should not be of concern to anyone and cannot and should not be challenged by anyone".

Russia's Vedomosti newspaper reported on Monday that President Vladimir Putin would visit North Korea and Vietnam in the coming weeks.

Putin's visit to North Korea is expected to take place in a few days, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported early on Thursday, citing a senior official at the presidential office.

Peskov on Thursday declined to name a date or agenda for a possible visit.

(Reporting by Dmitry Antonov; Writing by Andrew Osborn; editing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge)