Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin seek closer ties at their first talks
Seoul : Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday vowed to seek closer ties as they are scheduled to hold face-to-face talks for the first time.
The meeting in Russia's Far Eastern city of Vladivostok came with Kim looking for support in his nuclear stand-off with Washington and Putin keen to put Moscow forward as a player in another global flashpoint.
Releasing brief statements before heading for the talks, the two leaders hoped for strengthening historic ties.
"I think it will be a very useful meeting in developing the relationship between the two countries, who have a long friendship and history, into a more stable and sound one," Kim said.
"As the world is focused on the Korean peninsula, I think we will hold a very meaningful dialogue," Putin told Kim he supports ongoing efforts to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula and wants to boost economic ties.
"I am confident that your visit... will help us to better understand how we can resolve the situation on the Korean peninsula and what Russia can do to support the positive processes that are currently taking place," Putin said.
"In terms of bilateral relations, we have a lot to do to develop economic relations."
For Putin, the summit is a chance to push Russia's agenda of opposing US international influence.