Russia's Lavrov meets Kim in Pyongyang

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a visit to Pyongyang.

Lavrov invited Kim to Russia and passed on best wishes from President Vladimir Putin, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Lavrov who travelled to Pyongyang on Thursday told Kim the Kremlin supported peace and progress on the Korean peninsula and highly valued a declaration signed by Pyongyang and Seoul.

Lavrov's trip comes ahead of a possible summit between US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader in Singapore on June 12.

Lavrov's visit was seen as an attempt by Moscow to ensure its voice is heard in Pyongyang's diplomatic overtures with the United States and South Korea.

"We welcome contacts between North and South Korea, as well as between North Korea and the United States," Lavrov said following a meeting with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, according to Russia's TASS news agency.

In support of North Korea, Lavrov told reporters after his meeting with Ri that Russia assumes North Korea will not end its nuclear program without the complete removal of the sanctions.

Washington is seeking the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for certain economic and security benefits for Pyongyang.

Lavrov called on "all the parties involved to fully realise their responsibility for preventing the failure of such an important but fragile process."

He added that Moscow is interested in implementing joint economic projects with Pyongyang and Seoul, including railway construction.

Russia and China, which border North Korea, have the closest diplomatic relations with the insular communist state.