President Vladimir Putin has opened his talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, saying that Russia would like to help support efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear standoff.
Putin told Kim on Thursday that Russia supports his efforts to normalize North Korea’s relations with the United States.
He added that the talks should help better understand what Russia could do to support negotiations.
Kim congratulated Putin on winning another six-year term in last year’s election.
He noted that their talks will give a chance to exchange views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
TV coverage showed Kim arriving in a limousine before shaking hands with Putin. Putin smiled and gestured to Kim before they both walked inside the building. Putin then introduced Kim to Russian officials who shook his hand.
Kim arrived Wednesday in Vladivostok on his armoured train, saying upon arrival that he’s hoping for a “successful and useful” visit.
In February, Kim’s second summit with President Donald Trump in Hanoi ended without any agreement because of disputes over U.S.-led sanctions. There have since been no publicly known high-level contacts between the U.S. and North Korea, although both sides say they are still open to a third summit.
Kim wants the U.S. to ease the sanctions to reciprocate for some partial disarmament steps he took last year. But the U.S. maintains the sanctions will stay in place until North Korea makes more significant denuclearization moves.
Some experts say Kim could try to bolster his country’s ties with Russia and China. Others say it’s not clear how big of a role Russia can play in efforts to restart the nuclear negotiations.
Still, the summit could allow Putin to try to increase his influence in regional politics and the standoff over North Korea’s nuclear program.
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This story originally appeared on CBC