Russian President Vladimir Putin called Thursday for the resumption of six-way talks on North Korea’s denuclearization to move stalled negotiations forward.
“If South Korea and the US can offer sufficient measures for (North Korea’s security) guarantee, the six-party talks may not be operated. But the guarantee mechanism from the South and the US does not seem to be sufficient,” he said.
He was speaking at a press conference after a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for the first time at Far Eastern Federal University in Russia’s Pacific port city Vladivostok.
Putin said Russia shares similar view with the US on demanding the North’s complete denuclearization and the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons.
Six-way talks that involve the two Koreas, the US, China, Russia and Japan have not been held since 2008.
“I think there needs to be a multilateral security regime for the North,” he said.
Russia has been sidelined in negotiations on North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, especially over the last year as the two Koreas and the US have held a series of working-level talks and summits.
The nuclear talks have been at an impasse since Kim’s second summit with US President Donald Trump ended without a deal in Hanoi in late February because of disputes over US-led sanctions on the North.
After a one-on-one session with Putin, the North Korean leader said he had “very meaningful dialogue” with his Russian counterpart “to assess peninsula policy together, share each other’s views and work together to jointly make adjustments and research going forward.”
Their summit lasted over three hours, including an extended session in which other policy staff joined the leaders.
“We discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula. We exchanged opinions on what and how things need to be done, so that the situation would have a great prospect for improvement,” Putin said.
Since the breakdown of the second Trump-Kim summit, Pyongyang has been highlighting ties with Beijing and Moscow, apparently searching for economic and diplomatic support.
In the briefing, Kim said the two countries “have a long friendship and history” and that he hopes to develop relations to become “more firm and whole.”
Putin said the two countries also discussed economic cooperation in projects for a Trans-Siberian Railway connection and gas pipeline construction.
“I think those projects meet the national interest of South Korea, but it seems that Korea cannot actively achieve it because of the mandatory matters concerning alliances with the US.” he added. “I think building trust is most important for the fundamental solution of the Korean Peninsula issue.”