North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in the Russian city of Vladivostok on Wednesday ahead of his summit with Vladimir Putin. Kim crossed the border into Russia by train, according to Reuters.
Kim and Russian President Putin are set to meet for the first time Thursday, but do not plan to sign any agreements or make a joint statement, according to CNN. Kremlin advisor Yuri Ushakov said the “nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula” would be the main item on the agenda, reported Al Jazeera.
Kim’s trip to Russia comes almost a month after his summit with United States President Donald Trump ended without any agreement because of disputes over US led sanctions on North Korea.
“In the last few months the situation around the peninsula has stabilised somewhat, thanks in large part to North Korea’s initiatives of stopping rocket testing and closing its nuclear test site,” Ushakov said. “Russia intends to help in any way possible to cement that positive trend.”
Kim said he hoped the visit will be successful, according to AFP. “I hope that during the talks... I will be able to have concrete discussions on resolving situations on the Korean Peninsula and on the development of our bilateral relationship,” Kim said.
The North Korean leader left the capital of Pyongyang on Wednesday evening and travelled to Russia by train, as he did for his summit with US President Donald Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam. Kim was welcomed at the Russian border town of Khasan from where he travelled by train to Vladivostok, a port city in East Russia.
Russia has been involved in efforts to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear programme. It was part of the “six-party talks”, along with North and South Korea, Japan, the United States and China that were last held in 2009.
In 2002, Putin had held a summit with Kim Jong Un’s father and predecessor, Kim Jong Il, who also visited Russia in 2011 and met with then President Dmitry Medvedev.
Talks between Trump and Kim in Vietnam abruptly ended following a disagreement over sanctions imposed on Pyongyang. At their first summit on June 12 in Singapore, Kim had committed to the “complete denuclearisation” of the Korean Peninsula.