In addition to scheduling a summit with Putin, whose Russian Federation has played host to an estimated 30,000 North Korean workers, most of whose earnings are repatriated to the impoverished country - and its not-so-impoverished rulers - recent reminders have included a well-publicized visit by Kim to an airbase and a test, supervised by Kim, according to state media, of "a new tactical guided weapon". North Koreans have always been telling their American interlocutors they want an alliance like the one the United States has with South Korea-even including a "nuclear umbrella".
Moscow still has veto power in the United Nations Security Council, and it wants to play a role in anything related to North Korea.
"Chairman Kim Jong Un himself asked us to inform the American side about his position", Putin told reporters.
"If South Korea and the USA can offer sufficient measures for (North Korea's security) guarantee, the six-party talks may not be operated".
"Putin is trying to stake out a role for himself in the negotiations for the denuclearisation of North Korea and for reducing the threat that North Korea poses to the global community".
It is the first ever face-to-face encounter between the two leaders.
Earlier, Kim was presented with gifts as he arrived at the talks, including a large Russian cake. Kim described the conversation as "candid and meaningful".
According to the Kremlin, Kim and Putin will first hold a one-on-one meeting and then be joined by their delegation members.
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With North Korea-U.S. talks stalled, the summit in Vladivostok provides Pyongyang with an opportunity to seek support from a new quarter, Russia, and possible relief from the sanctions hurting its economy.
"I hope that we can discuss concrete questions about peace negotiations on the Korean peninsula, and our bilateral relations", he said through an interpreter.
In the days leading up to Thursday's meeting, some Russian lawmakers suggested sanctions on North Korea should be lifted.
Dmitri Trenin, the director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, said ahead of Thursday's talks that Putin would try to encourage Kim to continue constructive talks with the US.
He did not speak to the media afterwards, but shook hands with Putin before being driven away in his limousine.
Following their meeting at a university on the Russky Island, across a bridge from Vladivostok, Putin said he and Kim were in agreement that, "there is no, and can be no alternative to a peaceful settlement of nuclear and other problems of the region". "They embody strength, my soul and our people who support you".
The much-anticipated summit is seen as a key test of Kim's diplomatic outreach aimed at breaking a logjam in a denuclearization parley with the United States, easing sanctions pressure and catalyzing his lackluster drive for economic development.
A man watches a TV news program reporting about North Korea's test-fire of a 'new-type tactical guided weapon, ' with a footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, April 18, 2019.