Kim Jong Un with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Politics

First Meeting Between Kim And Putin Over North Korean Nuclear Stand-Off

The two leaders vowed to strengthen ties between the two countries as they met for the first time.

Kim Jong Un with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the first time to discuss North Korea's nuclear programme.

Mr Putin said the summit, held on Russky Island across a bridge from Vladivostok, would help plan joint efforts to resolve a stand-off over Pyongyang's nuclear programme.

He said Mr Kim's visit will "help better understand what should be done to settle the situation on the Korean Peninsula, what we can do together, what Russia can do to support the positive processes going on now".

Mr Kim's first visit to Russia comes just two months after his second summit with US President Donald Trump broke down because of issues over US-led sanctions.

Putin and Kim shake hands outside a university building on Russky Island.
Putin and Kim shake hands outside a university building on Russky Island.

There have since been no publicly known high-level contacts between the US and North Korea, although both sides say they are still open to a third summit.

Mr Kim wants the US to ease the sanctions to reciprocate for some partial disarmament steps he took last year.

But the US maintains the sanctions will stay in place until North Korea makes more significant denuclearisation moves.

North Korea has increasingly expressed frustration at the deadlocked negotiations.

Last week, it tested a new weapon and demanded that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo be removed from the nuclear talks.

President Trump and Kim Jong Un shake hands.
The latest summit between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in February collapsed.

Mr Putin told Mr Kim: "We welcome your efforts to develop an inter-Korean dialogue and normalize North Korea's relations with the United States."

Mr Kim arrived in Vladivostok Wednesday on board an armoured train, telling Russian state television that he was hoping that his first visit to Russia would "successful and useful".

He mentioned his father's "great love for Russia" and said that he intends to strengthen ties between the two countries.

The late Kim Jong Il made three trips to Russia, last time in 2011.

Like the US, Russia has strongly opposed Pyongyang's nuclear bid.

Mr Putin has welcomed President Trump's meetings with Mr Kim, but urged the US to do more to assure Pyongyang over security concerns.