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Kim to meet Putin in Vladivostok this week

Talks to focus on the nuclear stand-off

April 23, 2019 10:13 pm | Updated 10:13 pm IST - Seoul/Moscow

Flags of Russia, right, and North Korea are seen along the road on Russky Island, in Vladivostok, Russia, Tuesday, April 23, 2019.

Flags of Russia, right, and North Korea are seen along the road on Russky Island, in Vladivostok, Russia, Tuesday, April 23, 2019.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet on Thursday in the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok to discuss the international stand-off over Pyongyang’s nuclear programme, a Kremlin official said. The visit is part of Mr. Kim’s effort to build foreign support, analysts said, after the breakdown of a second U.S.-North Korea summit in Vietnam in February meant no relief on sanctions for North Korea.

The details of the summit were confirmed by Yuri Ushakov, a Kremlin foreign policy aide. The main item on the agenda would be international efforts to end the stand-off over North Korea’s nuclear programme, Mr. Ushakov told reporters.

“In the last few months the situation around the peninsula has stabilised somewhat, thanks in large part to North Korea’s initiatives of stopping rocket testing and closing its nuclear test site,” he said. “Russia intends to help in any way possible to cement that positive trend.”

The North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Tuesday the visit would happen soon, but did not elaborate on a time or location. Mr. Kim’s chief aide, Kim Chang Son, was seen in Vladivostok on Sunday, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.

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