“There are no other effective international mechanisms at the moment,” Mr. Peskov said. “Therefore, it is not possible to get completely detached from this mechanism. On the other hand, you know that other countries are also applying their efforts to achieve settlement. All efforts that really aim to denuclearize Korea and solve the two Koreas’ problem should be supported.”
Before they collapsed in 2009, the six-party talks had produced agreements to halt North Korea’s nuclear program, but the North later abrogated them. The negotiations included China, Russia, Japan, the United States, and North and South Korea.
Any attempt to revive them is bad news for Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly cited them as the prime example of how past administrations’ dealings with North Korea had failed. He has claimed that his own leader-to-leader diplomacy with Mr. Kim stood a far better chance of bringing about the North’s denuclearization.
Mr. Kim headed north into Russia on Wednesday in his armored, green-painted train, which reportedly reaches a top speed of only 37 miles per hour. Wearing a black coat and fedora, Mr. Kim stepped off near the border for a traditional Russian greeting with bread and salt.
At the Vladivostok train station, Mr. Kim disembarked onto a red carpet and was whisked away in his limousine. The visit was so cloaked in secrecy that it was unclear where he spent the night.
Conspicuously absent from his entourage, as reported on the North’s state media, was Kim Yong-chol, an official who has been the North’s point man tasked with coordinating Kim-Trump diplomacy. Kim Yong-chol’s absence came days after the North’s demand that Washington remove Mr. Pompeo, his American counterpart, from the United States negotiating team.
Accompanying Mr. Kim to Vladivostok were First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui and other veterans of six-party talks. Mr. Putin previously held a summit with Mr. Kim’s father and predecessor, Kim Jong-il, in 2002. Kim Jong-il also met in 2011 with Dmitri A. Medvedev, then the Russian president, in Ulan-Ude, a Siberian city near Mongolia.