Putin tells Kim he wants to support 'positive' efforts on Korean peninsula
Russian President Vladimir Putin told North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un on Thursday (Apr 25) that he supports ongoing efforts to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula and wants to boost economic ties.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shake hands during their meeting in Vlapostok, Russia on Apr 25, 2019. (Photo: RIA)
"I am confident that your visit today to Russia ... 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 as the two began their first-ever talks in Russia's Far East.
"In terms of bilateral relations, we have a lot to do to develop economic relations," Putin added.
The summit in Vlapostok - the first ever between Putin and Kim - provides Pyongyang with an opportunity to seek support from a new quarter, Russia, and possible relief from the sanctions hurting its economy.
For the Kremlin, the summit is a chance to show it is a global diplomatic player, despite efforts by the United States and other Western states to isolate it.
Kim Jong Un, making his first trip to Russia as North Korean Chairman, arrived at the train station in Vlapostok on Wednesday on board an armoured train - his preferred mode of international transport.
After a brief delay while the train had to be repositioned to line up with the red carpet laid out on the platform, he disembarked and headed in a convoy of limousines and minivans across a bridge linking mainland Vlapostok to Russky island, the summit venue.
Putin's last summit with a North Korean leader was in 2002 when his counterpart was Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un's father and predecessor. Kim Jong Il also met in 2011 with Dmitry Medvedev, the Putin lieutenant who was then Russian president./.