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Putin welcomes Trump’s courageous, mature decision to meet with Kim Jong-un

He also expressed hope that the June 12 meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un would produce positive results

MOSCOW, June 6. /TASS/. US President Donald Trump made a courageous and mature decision to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the China Media Group ahead of his visit to China.

He also expressed hope that the June 12 meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un would produce positive results. "I do hope that the courageous and mature decision to hold a personal meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that US President Trump made… that the meeting will take place, we all will be waiting for it to produce positive results," the Russian president said.

At the same time, Putin pointed to actions taken by the North Korean leadership. "We can see that the North Korean leadership has taken unprecedented steps to ease tensions, which frankly speaking, surprised me," he said. "First, they announced the suspension of nuclear tests. Moreover, they dismantled one of their largest nuclear test sites," he elaborated. In his view, "these undoubtedly were practical steps towards denuclearization."

In Putin’s view, under the current situation, North Korea needs security guarantees. "I can understand the North Korean authorities when they say that total denuclearization requires absolute security guarantees," Putin said, adding that "nothing else is possible, particularly in light of the tragic events that took place in Libya and Iraq. The North Koreas must remember it all vividly so it is only natural that they demand guarantees," Putin stressed, noting that "it is hard to say at the moment what form these guarantees may take and how long it will take to implement all this."

"However, it is possible to say - and it should be said - that there is a need to move forward along this path leading to easing of tensions and denuclearization," Putin noted.

He pointed to the similarity of the positions Russia and China had on resolving the Korean Peninsula issue. "As for the Korean Peninsula, as diplomats say, our positions are close or coincide. The latter, actually," he said.

"We initiated the so-called road map to resolve the situation on the Korean Peninsula. China has done a lot recently to achieve this goal, to ease tensions a little. We are pleased to see it and will continue to support it in every possible way," Putin said. According to him, the Russian-Chinese road map "implies that at the next stage relations between all the countries responsible for easing tensions should be enhanced."