The summit between Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok provided the leaders with an opportunity to reassess the global situation. North Korea is facing economic instability due to sanctions and Kim is hoping that Putin will emerge as a savior because of his long career as a politician. The Trump administration would have to work out a fresh strategy to bring Kim’s straying attention back to Washington.

NBC News reported that Kim Jong-un wants to strengthen ties with Moscow. Russia welcomed him at the Vladivostok Station on April 24. It was red carpet treatment and Putin wanted to project himself as an alternative to Trump.

The hosts wanted to impress upon the guest that “there may well be another road to success than through a decidedly weakened, quite possibly one-term, President Donald Trump.”

It was indeed a grand welcome

Moscow opened the floodgates. The platform of Vladivostok Station was modified to accommodate the limousine of Kim Jong-un. The railway link was directly between Pyongyang and Vladivostok. President Vladimir Putin arrived early for their first session. This was a break from tradition for him because he usually arrives late for meetings with foreign dignitaries. In addition, there was a banquet with a range of delicacies to appeal to Kim Jong-un. There was also some entertainment. The intention was to bring Kim’s attention to Russia.

NBC News added that Putin wants to be seen as a global power broker with North Korea.

That had been Trump’s idea, but it did not work out. The initial hopes were shattered after the failure of their second summit in Vietnam. It was a case of sanctions versus denuclearization. Kim already has an ally in Chinese president-for-life Xi Jinping and adding Putin would increase his bargaining powers.

Importance of the meeting with Putin

According to The Hill, Russian president Vladimir Putin wanted to meet Kim Jong-un. This meeting provided that opportunity. It helped the leader of North Korea to let the world know that he has friends beyond China and South Korea. That gives him a certain amount of confidence in the form of an “additional layer of cover against United Nations sanctions implementation.”

As far as Russia is concerned, it wants to maintain the balance of power in the region. However, North Korea is trying to come out of isolation and could have a meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Kim’s policy could be to make new friends and try to extract some benefits.