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Friday 5 June 2020

Putin tries with Kim what Trump could not achieve

Putin said he wanted to see full denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, which could be achieved only through the respect for international law

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Vladivostok: Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin are holding their first-ever meeting today in the far-eastern Russian city of Vladivostok. The summit was held two months after the talks between US President Donald Trump and Kim in Hanoi ended abruptly without an agreement.

A brass band entertained the North Korean leader in Vladivostok before he got inside a car of his convoy. The bodyguards jogged alongside the vehicle as it moved.

Putin wants peace

Putin said he believed Kim’s visit would help “our bilateral relations and will help us to understand the ways we can help to settle the situation on the Korean peninsula, what can be done together, what Russia can do to support the positive processes that are taking their place now.”

Putin told the North Korea leader on Thursday that Russia supported the ongoing efforts to reduce stress in the Korean Peninsula and seek to strengthen economic relations. This is the first direct dialogue between Putin and Kim.

Putin said, “I am very confident that your visit to Russia today will help us to understand how we can improve the situation in the Korean Peninsula and how can Russia support the positive processes released at this time.”

Putin said, “In terms of bilateral relations, we have to do a lot to develop economic relations.”

The pair shook hands on Russky Island near the port city of Vladivostok, in Russia’s far east.

The Kremlin said the leaders would discuss denuclearisation, but Kim is also expected to be seeking support after talks with the US collapsed.

Putin said he wanted to see full denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, which could be achieved only through the respect for international law.

“We need to restore the power of international law, to return to a state where international law, not the law of the strongest, determines the situation in the world,” he said.

The talks in Hanoi with US President Donald Trump failed to reach a deal on North Korea’s nuclear programme.

In their opening remarks, the Russian and North Korean leaders referred to their two countries’ long history of ties and Putin said he wanted to help calm Korean tensions

The Soviet Union was a major ally of North Korea, offering economic co-operation, cultural exchanges and aid. It also provided North Korea with its initial nuclear know-how.

North Korea is seeking diplomatic support in its negotiations with the US over its nuclear programme, and material support for its sanctions-hit economy. Russia opposes the west’s sanctions-led approach but, like China, wants to see North Korea roll back its nuclear programme. Putin is expected to propose modest financial support because Russia will not openly flout the economic sanctions and sees North Korea as a questionable investment.

They are also expected to discuss the fate of about 10,000 North Korean labourers working in Russia who are due to leave by the end of this year under sanctions.

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