Kim Jong Un set to meet Putin on Thursday

Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time on Thursday. The meeting will be at a symbolic summit hoping to project himself as a serious world player, but likely to come away without the relief he seeks from crushing sanctions.

A train carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in the Russian Pacific city of Vladivostok ahead of a summit later this week with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin and Kim Jong Un will meet on Thursday in Vladivostok to discuss the international standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear programme.

US President, Donald Trump, said that the US has built a great relationship with North Korea.

“I just do want to tell you that great progress has been made and a great relationship has been made, in North Korea too. Kim Jong has been really somebody that I have gotten to know very well and respect. And, hopefully, and I really believe that, over a period of time, a lot of tremendous things will happen.”

This was far from becoming a reality. Trump’s second meeting with the DPRK leader was a major setback; ending without an agreement.

Now Kim’s meeting with Putin serves as a reminder to Washington that he has other options in the region backing his leadership.

Trump signalled his willingness for another attempt to break the stalemate, but while Kim is likely to seek more assistance from one of his country’s two main backers; Russia will be limited in what it can provide and the summit will focus more on demonstrating camaraderie than new investment or aid.

While Russia says it fully enforces the sanctions that it voted to impose, it has joined China in calling for loosening punishment for North Korea in recognition of steps taken in limiting its weapons testing.

According to the United Nations, Russia has continued to sell significant amounts of oil to North Korea, though still officially under sanctions caps.


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