North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un told Russian President Vladimir Putin that peace and security on the Korean peninsula depended on the U.S., warning that a state of hostility could easily return, North Korean media said on Friday.
According to Reuters, Kim’s remarks during talks with Putin appeared aimed at pushing Washington to be more flexible on North Korean demands for an easing of international sanctions.
U.S. President Donald Trump, who ended a second summit with Kim in February without a deal for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, seemed unperturbed, saying a lot of progress was being made toward an agreement and welcoming Putin’s support.
Putin said after holding his first face-to-face talks with Kim in the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok on Thursday that U.S. security guarantees would probably not be enough to persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear programme.
He said he believed any U.S. guarantees might need to be supported by the other nations involved in previous six-way talks on the nuclear issue.
The countries included are Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, the U.S. and North Korea.
“I think we’re doing very well with North Korea. A lot of progress is being made,” Trump said at the White House.
“I appreciated President Putin’s statement yesterday. He wants to see it done also. I think there’s a lot of excitement for getting a deal done with North Korea.”
The Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi in February collapsed without progress on a U.S. demand that North Korea give up its nuclear weapons and North Korean demands for easing of sanctions.
Kim said he would wait until the end of the year for the U.S. to be more flexible.
“The situation on the Korean peninsula and the region is now at a standstill and has reached a critical point where it may return to its original state.
“The U.S. took a unilateral attitude in bad faith at the recent second DPRK-U.S. summit talks,” North Korea’s official KCNA news agency quoted Kim as saying.
“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will gird itself for every possible situation,” KCNA quoted Kim as saying.
The first face-to-face talks between Putin and Kim, held on an island off the Russian Pacific city, did not appear to yield any major breakthrough.
The two discussed ways to promote strategic communication and tactical collaboration in the course of ensuring peace and security on the Korean peninsula and beyond, KCNA said.
Putin said a deal on North Korea’s nuclear programme was possible by moving step by step to build trust.
Russia was for years a participant in the six-party talks, which have not been held since 2009.
“They only need guarantees about their security. That’s it. All of us together need to think about this,” Putin said after talks with Kim.
Such guarantees would have to be international, legally binding, and vouch for North Korea’s sovereignty, Putin said.
Russia and North Korea agreed to increase cooperation and Putin accepted an invitation by Kim to visit North Korea, KCNA said. No date was announced.