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Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to be an important player in any future negotiations with North Korea's Kim Jong Un.
North Korea Crisis

Russia edges in as key power broker with North Korea

Moscow angling for meeting with Kim after Pyongyang snubs Beijing's envoy

EIJI FURUKAWA, Nikkei staff writer | China

MOSCOW -- In its latest round of geopolitical chess, Russia is pushing to bolster communication with North Korea, a move likely to weaken China's influence as the key intermediary.

"I will be going to North Korea next year." Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of Russia's upper house, announced shortly after North Korea's latest ballistic missile test. Matviyenko is third in the pecking order in the Russian government, behind President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

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