Russia Muscles Into the North Korean Debate

Russia Muscles Into the North Korean Debate

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un pose for photographers during their meeting in Vladivostok, Russia, April 25, 2019.

The Russia trip comes after Kim gave a speech at the country's rubber-stamp parliament this month where he said he is willing to meet Trump again as long as the US offers acceptable terms for a deal by year end.

Mr Moon made these remarks even as Mr Kim was going about his state visit in Russian Federation, where reports say Mr Putin is expected to push for a restart of the six-party talks aimed at a peaceful resolution to North Korea's weapons programme.

Pointing out that both the North Korean and USA leaders have committed to continue their dialogue, Mr Moon went on to say that this offered hope that the prospects were good for another summit.

"I had candid and meaningful talks with Putin on developing friendly relations between North Korea and Russia", Kim said at a reception with his Russian counterpart after the meetings.

Speaking after the talks on Thursday, Mr Putin said he wanted to see full denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula.

For the Kremlin, the summit is a chance to show it is a global diplomatic player, despite efforts by the United States and other Western states to isolate it.

But Putin is not likely to play the role of spoiler in the North Korea-U.S. talks, in part because he doesn't have much leverage over Pyongyang, said Andrei Lankov, a professor at Seoul's Kookmin University.

TV coverage showed Kim arriving in a limousine before shaking hands with Putin.

Putin's foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, told Russian media the summit would focus on North Korea's nuclear program, noting that Russia would seek to "consolidate the positive trends" stemming from Trump's meetings with Kim.

Moon also revealed that in his latest visit to southeast Asia, Indonesian President Joko Widodo raised the possibility of inviting Kim Jong Un to a November summit between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Republic of Korea.

Such guarantees would need to be offered within a multinational framework, he added, following talks near Vladivostok in Russia's far east. North Korea had blamed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after the two countries failed to reach a deal at the Hanoi summit.

"I think there needs to be a multilateral security regime for the North", he said.

Some experts say Mr. Kim could try to bolster his country's ties with Russian Federation and China.

At the meeting with Trump in Hanoi, the cash-strapped North demanded immediate relief from sanctions, but the talks broke up in disagreement over what Pyongyang was prepared to give up in return.

Mr Putin said North Korea's leader was "fairly open" and had "talked freely on all issues that were on the agenda".

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