Russian President and North Korean leader hailed their countries’ long history of ties and pledged to have closer ties.

Iran Press/ Europe: Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have met in their first summit, in Russia’s Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok.

At his opening remarks, Putin said he sought to help calm tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Iran Press reported.

“I am confident your visit today to Russia 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 currently taking place,” Putin said, apparently referring to North Korea’s diplomatic engagement with its long-time rival South and the United States.

The Russian president also said he welcomed Kim’s efforts to normalize Pyongyang’s relations with the US.

Putin, Kim pledge closer ties in the first summit

Putin has said North Korean leader needs international security guarantees if he is to end his nuclear programme.

Kim, for his part, said he hoped for “a very useful meeting in developing the relationship between the two countries — which have a long friendship and history — into a more stable and sound one.”

Kim praised the summit as a "very meaningful one-on-one exchange".

The North Korean leader arrived in Russia on Wednesday.

The last meeting between the leaders of North Korea and Russia was in 2011 when the then-President Dmitry Medvedev met Kim’s late father, Kim Jong-il.

Moscow has relatively warm ties with Pyongyang and has called for an ease in the international sanctions on North Korea. 104

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Putin and North Korean leader met for the first time

Putin, Kim pledge closer ties in the first summit. Photo by USA Today
Putin, Kim pledge closer ties in the first summit. Photo by USA Today