Wed, 22 May 2019

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have vowed to seek closer ties as they met face-to-face for the first time.

The meeting on a university campus on an island off of Russia's Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok came as the United States pushes for a deal with Pyongyang over the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Putin and Kim smiled and shook hands on April 25 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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