Putin and Kim Jong Un will meet in Russia on Thursday, says state news

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The one-on-one negotiations will happen on April 25 in the eastern port of Vladivostok. They will be followed by extended talks between delegations, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov was reported as saying on Tuesday by state news agency RIA-Novosti.

He added that Putin and Kim do not plan to sign any agreements or make a joint statement.

It will be the first meeting between the leaders, said Ushakov, according to TASS news agency.

The meeting between the Cold War allies comes as Moscow steps up efforts to increase its influence in the region, and Kim looks for support in the face of sanctions from the West.

Indeed Russia is the only country other than China that presents a “semblance of being an ally” to the isolated North Korean regime, according to Bruce Bechtol, a professor of political science at Angelo State University who has authored several books on North Korea.

“During the Cold War, Russia subsidized everything in North Korea. North Korea was not a poor country, it was simply a subsidized member of what we can now call the Soviet Union’s satellite states,” he told CNN.

Tricky timing for US

The meeting also comes at a delicate moment in the nuclear negotiations between North Korea and the United States, which have stalled since the last round of talks in Hanoi fell apart earlier this year.

The summit will come just a week after North Korea’s foreign ministry called for US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to be replaced in any further negotiations between the two…



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