Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday a decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to set up a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was “brave and mature”, and said that he was expecting a “positive outcome”.
The historic summit will take place on June 12 in Singapore, in the latest twist in a high-stakes diplomatic drive by the United States to curtail Pyongyang’s nuclear arms programme.
On Friday, Trump, in a complete reversal, said he would hold the meeting with Kim after initially cancelling it, citing what he called Pyongyang’s “open hostility”.
“I still hope that this meeting – a very brave and mature decision U.S. President Donald Trump has made, to have direct contacts with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un – will take place, and we all expect a positive outcome,” Putin said in an interview with China Media Group.
Putin is due to take part in a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation later this week.
The Kremlin leader said last month that his own proposed meeting with Trump was not working out for now and was beset by problems.
Trump said in March that the two leaders would meet soon, but since then already poor ties between Washington and Moscow have deteriorated further over the conflict in Syria and the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain.
(Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Gareth Jones)