Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un Meet for the First Time at Vladivostok Summit

The first summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vladivostok, Russia, ended with a pledge to “forge closer ties” but no concrete plans how that will be done, The Wall Street Journal reports. Kim reportedly praised Putin when his train first rolled into Khasan, saying, “I have heard a lot of good things about your country and wanted to visit it for a long time... Seven years have passed since I took charge of the country, but I did not have a chance to visit Russia until now.” The North Korean leader also told Russia’s state-owned Rossiya-24 that he’d like to reach a “settlement of the situation in the Korean Peninsula” and hoped the visit would be “successful and useful.” Pyongyang is reportedly seeking diplomatic backing in its talks with the U.S. over its nuclear program, as well as material support to help boost an economy hit hard by sanctions. The meeting came two months after Kim and President Donald Trump held a second summit in Hanoi that abruptly ended in a standstill.