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The Latest: Putin, Kim shake hands before start of talks

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VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (AP) — The Latest on the summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (all times local):

8:40 p.m.

South Korea’s president says he believes the Russia-North Korean summit will have a “constructive role” in efforts to achieve complete denuclearization and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

In a statement, President Moon Jae-in’s office said he hoped Thursday’s summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will “lay a foundation for the resumption of North Korea-U.S. talks and the promotion of denuclearization process on the Korean Peninsula.”

Moon also praised Putin’s efforts to resolve the nuclear issue diplomatically, and he invited Putin to visit South Korea.

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Moon made the comments during a meeting with vising top Russian security official Nikolai Patrushev.

Patrushev responded Russia and South Korea share the common goal of realizing denuclearization and peace on the peninsula.

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8 p.m.

President Vladimir Putin says after talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that Pyongyang is ready to proceed toward denuclearization, but that it needs serious security guarantees to do so.

Putin said after Thursday’s talks with the North Korean leader in Vladivostok that he’s ready to share details from the summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, saying that “there are no secrets.”

He added that Kim himself encouraged him to explain the nuances of Pyongyang’s stance if he talks to Trump about the talks.

Putin noted that Russia and the U.S. both want North Korea to abandon nuclear weapons, but he emphasized that North Korea wants strong security guarantees to proceed on that path. He didn’t specify what the guarantees should be, but says they should likely be underwritten by multiple countries.

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6:50 p.m.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says he had “candid and meaningful” talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin about how to promote peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the region.

Kim said at the start of his dinner banquet with Putin in Vladivostok before making a toast: “The people of the two countries who share a valuable friendship that was created and strengthened while overcoming every hardship and challenge thrown to us by history have a deep understanding that the ceaseless development of North Korea-Russia ties not only serves our mutual interests but is also indispensable for securing the region’s peace and stability.”

He also says that the people of North Korea “always have affectionate and brotherly emotions about the people of Russia and feel pride that a great country like Russia is a close neighbor.”

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6:15 p.m.

A top Russian security official is holding talks in South Korea while the Russian president is meeting with the North Korean leader.

Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council, arrived in Seoul on Thursday for talks with top South Korean security officials. The Security Council said in a statement that Patrushev would discuss ties with South Korea as well as international terrorism and drug trafficking.

There was no mention of North Korea’s nuclear problem, even though Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier on Thursday sat down for a rare summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Russia’s Vladivostok.

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4:15 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un say they have had fruitful talks about how to defuse a standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

The two leaders spoke after their one-on-one meeting Thursday as they sat down for broader negotiations involving top officials from both sides on the Russky Island near Vladivostok.

Putin said he and Kim “exchanged opinions about what should be done to improve the situation.” Kim noted that they had “discussed ways of peaceful settlement” and had “a very fruitful exchange.”

Kim’s first trip to Russia comes about two months after his second summit with President Donald Trump failed because of disputes over U.S.-led sanctions on the North. Putin meanwhile wants to expand Russia’s clout in the region and get more leverage with Washington.

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2:20 p.m.

President Vladimir Putin has opened his talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying that Russia would like to help support efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear standoff.

Putin told Kim on Thursday that Russia supports his efforts to normalize North Korea’s relations with the United States.

He added that the talks should help better understand what Russia could do to support negotiations.

Kim congratulated Putin on winning another six-year term in last year’s election.

He noted that their talks will give a chance to exchange views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

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2 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have shaken hands before heading to talks at a university in Russia’s far-eastern city of Vladivostok.

TV coverage showed Kim arriving in a limousine before shaking hands with Putin. Putin smiled and gestured to Kim before they both walked inside the building.

Putin then introduced Kim to Russian officials who shook his hand.

Thursday’s summit reflects Russia’s effort to position itself as an essential player in the North Korean nuclear standoff.

Kim’s first trip to Russia comes about two months after his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, which failed because of disputes over U.S.-led sanctions on the North.

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12:30 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Vladivostok for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Thursday’s summit reflects Russia’s effort to position itself as an essential player in the North Korean nuclear standoff.

Kim’s first trip to Russia comes about two months after his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, which failed because of disputes over U.S.-led sanctions on the North.

Putin and Kim are set to have one-on-one meeting at the Far Eastern State University on the Russky Island across a bridge from Vladivostok. The meeting will be followed by broader talks involving officials from both sides.

Kim arrived Wednesday in Vladivostok on his armored train, saying upon arrival that he’s hoping for a “successful and useful” visit.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

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