MOSCOW, April 23. /TASS/. The upcoming meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the Far Eastern city of Vladivostok may encourage diplomatic efforts on ironing out the crisis on the Korean Peninsula and in the region in general, Director of the Asian Strategy Center under the Russian Academy of Sciences Georgy Toloraya has told TASS.
This is expected to be a brief meeting, the expert noted. "However, its symbolic significance is vital - this is the first contact at the highest level with the head of a neighboring country, which plays a leading role in the process of settling the crisis near Russia’s borders," Toloraya said.
"If we managed to encourage diplomatic process on ironing out the situation on the Korean Peninsula, this would be a great success," Toloraya emphasized.
The expert also noted that at the meeting the sides could focus on the issues of bilateral economic cooperation. "We would like to unblock economic relations between the two countries within the boundaries, allowed by the UN Security Council’s sanctions," he said.
Meanwhile, according to Toloraya, North Korea is trying to use the Russian factor in its interests. "This is a kind of an attempt to force the Russian leader to comment on the situation and react to the fact that dialogue [between Pyongyang and Washington] is about to fail," he noted. "I cannot say that this is a friendly move of North Korea. If in the coming days provocative steps [of the US] increase, this will put Russia in an awkward situation."
The Kremlin press service announced on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would hold a meeting in Russia by the end of this month. The summit may be held at Vladivostok’s Far Eastern Federal University, media reports say.