NKorea's Kim may meet Putin this month

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is to meet President Vladimir Putin in Russia this month.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is to meet President Vladimir Putin in Russia this month.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will visit Russia for a summit with President Vladimir Putin, North Korean state media has confirmed.

A Russian news report says the leaders will meet on April 25 in Vladivostok.

The visit is part of Kim's effort to build up foreign support for his economic development plans, analysts said, after the breakdown of a second US-North Korea summit in Hanoi in February led to stalled talks with Washington on the sanctions relief sought by Pyongyang.

Russia's Kommersant newspaper on Tuesday reported, citing sources, the visit was scheduled for April 25 in Vladivostok.

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

Kim Jong-un's chief aide, Kim Chang Son, was seen in Vladivostok on Sunday, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

NK News, a group that follows North Korea, showed photos on its website on Monday of preparations underway at Vladivostok's Far Eastern Federal University, likely to host part of the summit, with workers installing North Korean and Russian flags.

After the failed Hanoi summit, Kim is probably looking to prove that he is still sought after by world leaders, and that he has more options, said Artyom Lukin, a professor at Far Eastern Federal University.

"Kim does not want to look too dependent on Washington, Beijing and Seoul," he said.

"As for Russia, the Putin-Kim summit will reaffirm Moscow's place as a major player on the Korean Peninsula. This meeting is important for Russian international prestige."

Australian Associated Press