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For Putin and Kim Jong Un The Meeting Was the Message

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has at last played the Russian card, meeting President Vladimir Putin for their first summit. But he’s still holding it close to his chest.

Yes, Kim appeared to have gotten along better with Putin in Vladivostok than he did with President Donald Trump in Hanoi, where the summit meltdown seems to have cost a top North Korean diplomat his job and is rumored to have cost four lesser envoys their lives.

“Putin would like to play a bigger role in the far east, notably the Korean peninsula, in competition with China as well as the United States.”

After Kim arrived by train (in a scene CNN's Jeanne Moos likened to a Mussolini-Hitler summit parodied by Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator) Putin and Kim talked for an uninterrupted two hours at a university. They then appeared in front of the press to recite opaque and most likely prescripted diplospeak.

No, they did not emerge with a joint communique affirming whatever they said about the two most pressing issues—denuclearization and sanctions. If Trump was looking for his buddy Putin to deliver something on those issues, it would seem he’ll be disappointed.

There was no indication that Putin got anywhere in persuading Kim to get rid of his nukes and missiles, and there was no sign that Putin would join Kim in trying to persuade the United Nations Security Council to drop the sanctions imposed with the unanimous approval of its five permanent members, including Russia and China, after the North’s nuclear and missile tests in late 2017.

Instead, all that Putin would say was that he and Kim had talked over “what should be done to improve the situation,” and Kim said they had had “a very fruitful exchange”........

© The Daily Beast