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26 Apr, 2019 00:26

Next time in Pyongyang: North Korea says Putin accepted Kim's invitation at Vladivostok summit

Next time in Pyongyang: North Korea says Putin accepted Kim's invitation at Vladivostok summit

North Korea's state media reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to pay a visit to North Korea at the invitation of Kim Jong-un. The leaders agreed to boost contacts on all levels, the report says.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that Kim extended an invitation to Putin to come to North Korea "at a convenient time." The invitation, according to the report, was "readily accepted" by the Russian president.

The two leaders held their first ever talks on Russky Island off the southern tip of Vladivostok earlier on Thursday. The historic meeting focused on the development of bilateral ties as well as the burning issue of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The agency reported that the two leaders agreed to boost mutual trade, economy, science, and technology, as well as top-level contacts, including "high-level visits."

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Speaking about the shaky regional security situation after the failed Hanoi summit with the US, Kim said it is hanging in the balance because of Washington's "unilateral attitude in bad faith." It now depends "entirely" on the US how the situation develops, he added.

The short visit by Kim, who arrived in his trademark armored train on Wednesday, is the first by a North Korean leader since 2011, when Kim's late father Kim Jong-il visited Russia. It comes just two months after the Hanoi summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump, which was cut short over the US' unwillingness to relax sanctions in exchange for Pyongyang winding down its nuclear and missile program.

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