North Korea’s Kim to meet Putin at crucial diplomatic moment

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North Korea’s Kim to meet Putin at crucial diplomatic moment

KCNA did not elaborate on the subject of the summit or where it would take place, but Japanese media has reported Kim will travel to Vladivostok on Thursday to meet with Putin on Russky Island.

On Saturday, the North's official Korean Central News Agency cited First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui as criticizing Bolton over a recent interview with Bloomberg News.

With his Russian Federation visit, North Korea's Kim is seen wanting to build up support for his economic development plans, since the breakdown of the second US-North Korea summit in Hanoi in February led to stalled talks with Washington on the sanctions relief Pyongyang had sought.

Kim will join his Russian counterpart for talks in Moscow, which is seen by some as a chance for him to drum up support for his economic plans.

In its second scathing critique of a high-ranking U.S. figure in less than a week, Pyongyang has described demands by the United States national security adviser, John Bolton, for proofs that North Korea is in the process of denuclearization as "nonsense".

A date for the meeting was not immediately released.

There are some indications the meeting will be held this week in the far-eastern port of Vladivostok, not too far from Russia's border with the North. Pyongyang needs Russia's electricity supplies and wants to attract Russian investment to modernize the Soviet-built industrial plants, railways and other infrastructure.

Kim will likely ask for help from Putin after a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in February collapsed without easing global sanctions.

There was no immediate comment on the report from the Kremlin, but spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that Putin and Kim were on track to meet by the end of April.

FILE - In this August 23, 2002, file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, smiles as he hugs North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during their meeting in Vladivostok.

While unlikely to be a prohibited test of a medium- or long-range ballistic missile that could scuttle the negotiations, the announcement signaled the North's growing disappointment with the diplomatic breakdown.

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