Russia: Putin and Kim to meet Thursday in Russia's Far East
Updated 22:38, 23-Apr-2019
CGTN
00:35

Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet in the Russian Far Eastern city of Vladivostok on Thursday, the Kremlin foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov told journalists Tuesday.

The leaders will discuss political and diplomatic efforts to settle the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, and Kim's visit is key in this process, Ushakov said.

"In the last few months the situation around the peninsula has stabilized somewhat, thanks in large part to North Korea's (DPRK) initiatives of stopping rocket testing and closing its nuclear test site," said Ushakov. "Russia intends to help in any way possible to cement that positive trend."

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He also noted that Russia's bilateral trade with the DPRK fell by more than 56 percent last year because of sanctions against Pyongyang, but Moscow thinks it is important that the DPRK and the U.S. are interested in maintaining their contact.

Russia has for years been involved in efforts to persuade the DPRK to give up its nuclear program. It was involved in the six party talks – along with the DPRK, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Japan, the United States and China – last held in 2009.

Officials attending the 8th meeting of the DPRK-Russia Intergovernmental Committee for Cooperation in Trade, Economy, Science and Technology at the People's Palace of Culture, Pyongyang, DPRK, March 22, 2018. /VCG Photo

Officials attending the 8th meeting of the DPRK-Russia Intergovernmental Committee for Cooperation in Trade, Economy, Science and Technology at the People's Palace of Culture, Pyongyang, DPRK, March 22, 2018. /VCG Photo

ROK's foreign ministry said it understood the agenda would include Russia-DPRK relations, denuclearization, and regional cooperation.

"Russia shares our viewpoints such as the achievement of complete denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and the settlement of permanent peace," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Kim In-chul said in Seoul. "I hope that the summit will be an opportunity that contributes to positive progress."

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un hold their second one-on-one meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam, February 28, 2019. /VCG Photo

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un hold their second one-on-one meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam, February 28, 2019. /VCG Photo

On Sunday, Kim Jong Un's chief aide, Kim Chang Son, was seen in Vladivostok, according to ROK news agency Yonhap,

NK News, a group that follows the DPRK, showed photos on its website on Monday of preparations underway at Vladivostok's Far Eastern Federal University, likely to host part of the summit, with workers installing DPRK and Russian flags.

Kim's Russia visit is seen as working to build up foreign support for his economic development plans, since the breakdown of the second U.S.-DPRK summit in Hanoi in February led to stalled talks with Washington on the sanctions relief Pyongyang had sought.

Source(s): Reuters