On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin sat down for talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying the summit should help plan joint efforts to resolve a standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear program. Kim’s first trip to Russia comes about two months after his second summit with President Donald Trump failed because of disputes over U.S.-led sanctions on the North.
Speaking at the start of the talks, Putin voiced confidence that Kim’s visit will “help better understand what should be done to settle the situation on the Korean Peninsula, what we can do together, what Russia can do to support the positive processes going on now.” Putin told Kim, “we welcome your efforts to develop an inter-Korean dialogue and normalize North Korea’s relations with the United States.”
In February, Trump-Kim talks 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.
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