North Korea's Kim arrives in Vladivostok for Putin summit

North Korea's Kim arrives in Vladivostok for Putin summit

"The primary objective of the [Vladivostok] visit is essentially to rehabilitate Kim Jong Un's image after Hanoi", comments John Park, director of the Korea Project at the Harvard Kennedy School, "and the best way to do that is to get back to top-down summitry with another world leader".

Moscow was a crucial backer of Pyongyang for decades and their ties go back to the founding of North Korea, when the Soviet Union installed Kim's grandfather Kim Il Sung as leader.

It stressed that Russian Federation would be the first country that Kim visits after his recent reelection as the chairman of the State Affairs Commission, the country's highest administrative apparatus.

Russia-North Korea trade fell dramatically past year, by more than 56 percent to $34 million, according to Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov, who was quoted in Russian state media.

The North Korean leader evoked his father's "great love for Russia" and said that he intends to strengthen the ties between the two countries.

Speaking to Russia's state-owned Rossiya-24, Kim said on arrival that he was hoping for a "successful and useful" visit and would like to discuss with Putin, "settlement of the situation in the Korean Peninsula" as well as bilateral ties with Russian Federation. "I've led my country for already seven years, and have only now been able to visit Russian Federation". His US counterpart was Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un stated that he hopes to discuss the problem of the Korean settlement with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On Thursday, Kim will meet Putin in the port city of Vladivostok, two months after his second summit with President Trump collapsed in Hanoi. Russian Federation opposes the west's sanctions-led approach but also, like China, wants to see North Korea roll back its nuclear efforts.

Russian and North Korean flags were flying on lamp posts on Vladivostok's Russky Island, where the summit is expected to take place at a university campus.

"During the meeting with your president, [I] will exchange opinions on many issues and I believe [the summit] will be an opportunity for very useful dialogue in stably managing and jointly adjusting the situation in this region", he told a Russian news broadcaster.

Putin previously held a summit in Russian Federation with Kim Jong Un's father and predecessor, Kim Jong Il, in 2002.

Like Beijing, Moscow does not want to create regime change in Pyongyang, which could potentially wreak havoc in the area, inviting more US influence.

North Korea has increasingly expressed frustration at the deadlocked negotiations.

Kim said the summit will be a "starting point for productive talks on cooperation", Vesti TV reported him as saying in an interview.

Kaesong, located just north of the inter-Korean border, used South Korean capital and North Korean labor to produce goods, before being closed after a North Korean nuclear test in 2016.

The Hanoi summit had the aim of achieving denuclearisation on the Korean Peninusla and North Korea was hoping to have its sanctions lifted. His chief of staff Kim Chang Son and sister Kim Yo Jong were also spotted in the Far Eastern city earlier this week, South Korean media reported. The sides will also discuss bilateral relations, in particular regarding the political, economic and cultural and humanitarian agendas.

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