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Nuclear issues to top agenda when Kim Jong Un meets Vladimir Putin

The Kremlin has confirmed a meeting between the two men in the Far Eastern Russian city of Vladivostok.

A worker adjusts the flag of Russia and North Korea along the road in Russky Island, off the southern tip of Vladivostok (Naoya Osato/AP)
A worker adjusts the flag of Russia and North Korea along the road in Russky Island, off the southern tip of Vladivostok (Naoya Osato/AP)

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Russia’s Far East on Thursday.

Kremlin adviser Yuri Ushakov told Russian news agencies that the much-anticipated talks between Mr Putin and Mr Kim would be held in Vladivostok on the Pacific Ocean and would focus on North Korea’s nuclear programme.

Local media have reported preparations and strict security measures undertaken in Vladivostok where the Korean leader is expected to arrive by train.

Mr Kim had two summits with US President Donald Trump, but the latest one in Vietnam in February collapsed because North Korea wanted more sanctions relief than the United States was willing to give for the amount of nuclear disarmament.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (Dmitri Lovetsky/Evan Vucci/AP)

In Vladivostok, the waters around Russky Island, the likely summit venue, will be closed for all maritime traffic between Wednesday morning and Friday morning.

Separately, local media reported that several platforms at Vladivostok’s main railway station will be closed for several days.

Mr Kim, like his father, avoids air travel and is likely to travel to Vladivostok by train.

Moscow is interested in gaining broader access to North Korea’s mineral resources, including rare metals.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects fighter combat readiness of Unit 1017 of the Air and Anti-aircraft Force of the Korean People’s Army (AP)

Pyongyang needs Russia’s electricity supplies and wants to attract Russian investment to modernise its Soviet-built industrial factories, railways and other infrastructure.

North Korea has demanded that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo be removed from the talks with the US, and on Saturday criticised White House national security adviser John Bolton for calling on Pyongyang to show more evidence of its disarmament commitment before a possible third leaders’ summit.

PA

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