Putin-Kim meeting ends, no report on North Korean de-nuclearisation issue

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met for the first time at the Russian port city of Vladivostok. The meeting assumes significance coming as it does in the backdrop of Kim’s historic summit meeting with US President Donald Trump held earlier in February.

Kim’s meeting with Putin however did not include the signing of any agreement nor were any joint declarations made. That said, there were no dearth of diplomatic niceties either, with the two leaders exchanging gifts and mementoes.

Unfortunately, details are rather scarce on the key topic of discussion anyway, that of denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. Talks on the same with US President during the Hanoi summit had ended in a stalemate. Kim told Putin the US acted in ‘bad faith’ that led to his talks with Trump yielding anything concrete.

North Korea had earlier accused the US of not being accommodative enough of Pyongyang’s concerns. The US, on its part linked waiving of sanctions to firm steps that North Korea takes to nuclear disarmament.

Kim described the current situation in North Korea to be extremely critical, to the point that it might reach its original state. Putin said Kim asked him to convey to the US of Kim’s stance on the issue. No wonder, the meeting with Putin brings Russia directly into the negotiations with the US, the other player in the game being China.

Meanwhile, Kim’s Russian sojourn is also being seen as an attempt to prevent being too reliant for almost all its needs on China.

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