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The Countdown To The Putin-Kim Meeting Begins

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Trump’s Failure Gives Putin Opportunity to Negotiate

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Vladivostok just hours ago. He will be meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin tomorrow, Thursday, for a symbolic first encounter. Moscow has long pursued a central role over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions as the two neighboring countries are separated by borders. Expectations are for Kim to request economic assistance. Putin’s focus, on the other hand, will most likely be on portraying a powerful and sensible image since Trump failed to do so.

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Kim Open to Denuclearisation Talks After Hanoi

Following the Trump-Kim breakdown in Hanoi back in February, Trump gave way to other leaders to step up discussions over denuclearisation. South Korean president Jae-In is now looking to restart stalled talks as the risk of reviving tensions keeps rising. The North Korean leader said that he will wait “till the end of this year” for the US to break the impasse a couple of weeks ago, inviting other leaders to approach him.

3rd Summit with Trump Now Limited

According to state media reports, things in Hanoi weren’t as good as Trump presented. And that’s regardless of his later decision to not impose harder sanctions against North Korea. Kim has actually said there will be repercussions if talks keep stalling. He also went as far as to say that he will only work with someone “who is more careful and mature in communicating“. This quote was in reference to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Coupled with the US’s inflexibility to compromise, this might mean the chances of a third summit with the US are limited.

Russia And China Want Sanctions Relief

Both Russia and China are not holding as hard a stance as the US does. They also support sanctions relief for North Korea. Russia’s perspective is that gradual disarmament is unlikely if the US does not ease sanctions. While Russia is looking to gain political promotion, the US is escalating tensions. The superpower claims they have evidence that Russia is violating international trade sanctions at sea levels. Russia, however, is refuting the accusations. The US also claims that despite sanctions caps, Russia sold more oil to North Korea irrespectively.

Putin Hopes for Political Exposure

Russia has a long relationship with North Korea and wouldn’t risk its role in the United Nations. Putin’s approach makes it likely that the two might agree on limited projects in order to “actively promote cooperation in the fields of economy and humanitarianism”. Although Kim can expect a kind reception, Moscow will be hard to press. And that’s regardless of what US claims are made and in spite of the fact that 30,000 North Korean laborers that work in Russia

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