Russia's intelligence chief visits N.Korea

Russia's foreign intelligence agency chief Sergei Naryshkin has visited North Korea in an apparent bid to boost the two countries' ties in intelligence.

The Russian state news agency says Naryshkin visited the capital Pyongyang from Monday through Wednesday. He is the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, and a close aide to President Vladimir Putin.

The agency says Naryshkin met North Korea's state security minister Ri Chang Dae and talked about the current international and regional situations.

The Russian news agency quoted North Korea's media as saying that the two officials discussed issues for deepening bilateral cooperation in response to "spying activities and intrigues of hostile forces."

North Korean state-run television says the two sides agreed to cope with the "spying and plotting moves by the hostile forces" and further boost cooperation.

South Korea's Yonhap News Agency points out that North Korea's rare revelation about the content of talks between intelligence officials appears to be aimed at publicizing their deepening bilateral ties.

Relations between Moscow and Pyongyang have strengthened rapidly since the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

In September last year, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held a summit with Putin in Russia's Far East. The two countries have stepped up their military cooperation.

Observers say the two countries are apparently aiming to enhance cooperation not only in the military sector but also in intelligence, with the United States in mind.

The Russian side has indicated the possibility of Putin's visit to Pyongyang following his victory in the presidential election earlier this month.

Observers also say the intelligence officials may have exchanged opinions on the probable visit during the latest talks.