VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin met at a summit on Thursday intended to show Washington is not the only power with enough clout to engage with Pyongyang on its nuclear program.
The two men were holding a day of talks on an island off the Russian Pacific city of Vladivostok two months after Kim’s summit with U.S. President Donald Trump ended in disagreement, cooling hopes of a breakthrough in the decades-old nuclear row.
The first session, comprising one-on-one talks with just a few aides present, lasted twice as long as the 50 minutes allocated in the schedule.
Speaking before the start of a second session, Putin said he and the North Korean leader had substantive discussions on issues including the nuclear standoff.
“We talked, of course, about the situation on the Korean peninsula, we exchanged views on how and what we can do so that there are good prospects for an improvement in the situation,” Putin said at the start of the second phase of talks, involving larger delegations from each side.
Kim, who had arrived in Vladivostok a day earlier on board his armored train, said the situation on the Korean peninsula “is an issue that the world is very interested in.”
Sitting opposite Putin and the rest of the Russian delegation, he said he had come to Russia to meet Putin personally and to exchange views on the nuclear standoff.
He said he wanted to “to discuss issues of strategic stability and joint management of the situation in the future, and to develop our traditional relations to meet the demands of a new century.”