China welcomes Russian input on Peninsula

By Sun Haoran Source:Global Times Published: 2019/4/24 21:58:40

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un walks past an honor guard during a welcome ceremony at a railway station in the Far East Russian port of Vladivostok on Wednesday. Photo: AFP

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's visit to Russia is a "win win" opportunity as it will help Pyongyang seek political and economical assistance, as well as offering Russia an opportunity to increase its input on the Peninsula issue, said Chinese analysts.

Kim arrived in the Russian city of Vladivostok on Wednesday afternoon, Reuters reported.

It said that  at a stop on the border, Kim told Russian state television he was hoping for useful and successful discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I hope that we can discuss concrete questions about peace negotiations on the Korean Peninsula, and our bilateral relations," he was quoted by Reuters as saying.

It will be the first summit between the leaders of North Korea and Russia since Kim Jong-il, father of Kim Jong-un, met with Dmitry Medvedev in 2011.

Kim is expected to sit down for talks with Putin on Thursday at a university campus on an island just off Vladivostok, media reported. 

The agenda includes North Korea's nuclear weapons and bilateral relations, Russian media Sputnik News reported on Wednesday.

China is happy to see Russia and North Korea enhancing high-level bilateral communications. The summit could boost ties and help stabilize the situation in Korean Peninsula, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a daily briefing on Wednesday.

"Kim chose this time to meet Putin mainly because he wants to diversify North Korea's diplomacy policies after the fruitless US-North Korea [Hanoi] summit, so he gains more leverage in future talks with the US," Yang Danzhi, an expert on Asia-Pacific strategy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

He noted that Kim also needs Russia's help to ease international sanctions on North Korea.

Kim's meeting with Putin comes less than two months after talks in Hanoi in February between Kim and US President Donald Trump, their second summit, ended without agreement.

Yang noted that by initiating this meeting with Kim, the Russian side is aiming to increase its presence and influence in Northeast Asia.

In October 2018, the foreign ministers of China, Russia and North Korea met in Moscow. The three sides welcomed the positive changes on the peninsula, said they supported communications between North Korea and the US, and the improvement of ties between the two Koreas as well as all parties' efforts to solve the issue through political channels, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry. 

China is happy to see a stronger Russian presence in the region, and welcomes a closer Russia-North Korea relations, Lü Chao, a research fellow at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

"Because China and Russia have almost the same interests regarding the Korean Peninsula, Russia's active participation will foster the process of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," Lü said.

Newspaper headline: Kim arrives in Vladivostok

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