Sun, 31 May 2020

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says he had very meaningful talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin as the two men met face-to-face for the first time.

The April 25 summit at a university campus on an island off Russia's Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok came after talks collapsed between the United States and North Korea over the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

'We have just had a very meaningful exchange of views on issues of mutual interest,' Kim said after nearly two hours of one-on-one talks, adding that they had 'discussed ways of peaceful settlement.'

Putin said he and Kim had a 'substantial discussion' and exchanged views on how to defuse the standoff over Pyongyangs nuclear program.

The two leaders spoke after their one-on-one meeting as they sat down for broader negotiations involving top officials from both sides.

Earlier on April 25, Putin and Kim smiled and shook hands outside the Far Eastern State University on Russky Island, across a bridge from Vladivostok, and then sat down in a conference room to exchange greetings in front of cameras.

Putin said he hoped Kim's visit would 'help us better understand by what means we can reach a settlement on the Korean Peninsula, what we can do together, what Russia can do to support the positive processes now under way.'

'Without question, we welcome your efforts to develop dialogue between the Koreas and to normalize North Korean-U.S. relations,' Putin said.

Kim, who had arrived in the city a day earlier by train, told Putin the meeting would help strengthen and develop ties between Russia and North Korea.

As world attention is focused on the Korean Peninsula, there will be very meaningful dialogue for us to jointly assess the Korean Peninsula policies and share, coordinate, and study our views, Kim said.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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