Russian President Vladimir Putin has said North Korea needs ‘security guarantees’ in exchange for giving up its nuclear program following his first ever meeting with the country’s leader Kim Jong-un.
The pair said they have had ‘fruitful talks’ about how to defuse Pyongyang’s standoff after their one-on-one meeting in the Russian city of Vladivostok on Thursday, in which they sat down for broader negotiations involving top officials from both sides.
Putin said he and Kim ‘exchanged opinions about what should be done to improve the situation.’ Kim noted that they had ‘discussed ways of peaceful settlement’ and had ‘a very fruitful exchange’.
Kim’s first trip to Russia comes two months after his second summit with President Donald Trump failed because of disputes over US-led sanctions on the North.
Putin meanwhile wants to expand Russia’s clout in the region and get more leverage with Washington, adding that the Kremlin would like to help support efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear standoff.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands while posing for a photograph during their meeting in Vladivostok, Russia on Thursday. Putin and Kim are set to have a one-on-one meeting
Putin and Kim shake hands during their meeting in Vladivostok, Russia. Kim’s first trip to Russia comes two months after his second summit with President Donald Trump failed
Russia hopes to position itself as an essential player in the North Korean nuclear standoff with the U.S.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrive to pose for a picture prior to their talks
Kim congratulated Putin on winning another six-year term in last year’s election. He noted that their talks will give a chance to exchange views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula
Putin told Kim that Russia supports his efforts to normalize North Korea’s relations with the United States. He added that the talks should help better understand what Russia could do to support negotiations.
Kim congratulated Putin on winning another six-year term in last year’s election. He noted that their talks will give a chance to exchange views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Earlier, in brief statements before heading in to the talks, both leaders expressed their hopes for strengthening historic ties.
‘I think it will be a very useful meeting in developing the relationship between the two countries, who have a long friendship and history, into a more stable and sound one,’ Kim said.
‘As the world is focused on the Korean peninsula, I think we will hold a very meaningful dialogue.’
Putin told Kim he supports ongoing efforts to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula and wants to boost economic ties.
‘I am confident that your visit… will help us to better understand how we can resolve the situation on the Korean peninsula and what Russia can do to support the positive processes that are currently taking place,’ Putin said.
‘In terms of bilateral relations, we have a lot to do to develop economic relations.’
Putin and Kim are set to have one-on-one meeting at the Far Eastern State University on the Russky Island across a bridge from Vladivostok. The meeting will be followed by broader talks involving officials from both nations
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin shake hands during a meeting at the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) on Russky Island
Putin, second right, and Kim, second left, sit across from one another as they attend the talks in Vladivostok, Russia
North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un (pictured left) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin during a meeting at the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) on Russky Island
Putin and Kim had a one-on-one meeting at the Far Eastern State University on the Russky Island across a bridge from Vladivostok. The meeting will be followed by broader talks involving officials from both sides
Putin and Kim had a one-on-one meeting at the Far Eastern State University on the Russky Island across a bridge from Vladivostok. The meeting will be followed by broader talks involving officials from both sides.
Among the issues likely to be on the table is the fate of some 10,000 North Korean laborers working in Russia and due to leave by the end of this year under sanctions.
Labor is one of North Korea’s key exports and sources of cash. Pyongyang has reportedly asked Russia to continue to employ its workers after the deadline.
Kim, whose government has told the United Nations it is facing food shortfalls this year, will also be keen to see Moscow continue or boost its aid.
Russia has provided some $25 million in food aid to North Korea in recent years, according to the Kremlin. One delivery in March saw more than 2,000 tonnes of wheat supplied to the port of Chongjin, news agency TASS reported.
For Putin, the summit is a chance to push Russia’s agenda of opposing US international influence.
In an interview with China’s official People’s Daily published on Thursday, Putin lashed out at “countries claiming sole global leadership”.
“They carelessly trample on the norms and principles of international law, resort to blackmail, sanctions and pressure, and try to force their values and dubious ideals on entire countries and populations,” said Putin, who is heading to China after the talks for another summit.
Kim arrived Wednesday in Vladivostok on his armored train, saying upon arrival that he’s hoping for a ‘successful and useful’ visit.
The North Korean leader had a broad smile as he was greeted by Russian children in traditional garb, who presented him with flowers and the symbolic greeting gift of bread and salt.
Kim arrived Wednesday in Vladivostok on his armored train, saying that he’s hoping for a ‘successful and useful’ visit
Kim Jong Un receives a bouquet of flowers on his arrival at Khasan train station, Primorsky Krai region, Russia in an image provided by North Korea’s state news agency
A Russian girl in traditional garb presents Kim with the symbolic greeting gift of bread and salt upon his arrival, in an image provided by North Korea’s state news agency
Kim’s father Kim Jong Il is seen meeting with Putin in 2002 during a prior summit in Vladivostok
It is Kim’s first visit to Russia as North Korean leader, however his late father, Kim Jong Il, last visited Russia in 2011.
The North Korean leader evoked his father’s ‘great love for Russia’ and said that he intends to strengthen ties between the two countries.
Putin’s foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, told Russian media the summit would focus on North Korea’s nuclear program, noting that Russia will seek to ‘consolidate the positive trends’ stemming from Trump’s meetings with Kim.
In February, Kim’s second summit with President Donald Trump in Hanoi ended without any agreement because of disputes over U.S.-led sanctions.
North Korea security staffs run with a car carrying leader Kim Jong-Un at Vladivostok Station on Thursday in Vladivostok
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reviews the honor guard with Russian Far East Development Minister Alexander Kozlov during the welcome ceremony on arrival at Vladivostok Station on Thursday
A photo released by the official North Korean Central News Agency shows Kim Jong Un reviewing an honor guard after arriving in Vladivostok, Russia on Thursday
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is welcomed by Russian officials on his arrival in Vladivostok, Russia in an image provided by North Korea’s state news agency
There have since been no publicly known high-level contacts between the U.S. and North Korea, although both sides say they are still open to a third summit.
Kim wants the U.S. to ease the sanctions to reciprocate for some partial disarmament steps he took last year. But the U.S. maintains the sanctions will stay in place until North Korea makes more significant denuclearization moves.
Some experts say Kim could try to bolster his country’s ties with Russia and China.
Others say it’s not clear how big of a role Russia can play in efforts to restart the nuclear negotiations. Still, the summit could allow Putin to try to increase his influence in regional politics and the standoff over North Korea’s nuclear program.
Transbaikal Territory Acting Governor Alexander Osipov welcomes Russia’s President Vladimir Putin at the airport
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives to meet with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un in Vladivostok, Russia on Thursday