With talks between Pyeongyang and Washington pretty much stalled and going nowhere, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's first summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin expected to take place in less than six hours from now will give the two longtime allies an opportunity to show a united front at a critical moment in negotiations over North Korea's nuclear disarmament.
But the Kremlin says don't expect any joint signings or joint statements or really anything but heavy choreographyany.
For the record, this is the first time the leaders from North Korea and Russia have met since 2011.
Joining me live in the studio to put things into perspective is Dr. Scott Snyder, senior fellow and director of U.S.-Korea policy at Council on Foreign Relations.
Scott, it's great to have you here in our Seoul studio.
On the surface this looks pretty basic. If he can't get what he wants from Donald Trump, he'll try his luck with Vladimir Putin. The only problem with that theory is can Russia give him what the U.S. can't? I guess they are apples and oranges here, but there are mutual benefits.
Kim said he hoped he and and the Russian President will discuss ways to ensure peace on the Korean Peninsula and while the Kremlin did concur it has argued that the six-party talks which of course is a series of multilateral negotiations aimed at finding a peaceful resolution to concerns over North Korea's nuclear armament currently at a stalemate, were the only efficient way of addressing the denuclearization.
First, let's take a listen.
"There are no other efficient international mechanisms at the moment. That's why it's hardly possible to abstract away from this mechanism (the six-party talks). But on the other hand, you know that settlement efforts are being made by other countries as well. All efforts deserve support if they truly pursue the goal of denuclearizing society."
Are we seeing Russia trying to flex its diplomatic prowess here?
What's the stance of the United States watching the audacious - relative to his father and his predecessor, at least - moves by North Korea especially coming after things didn't work out so well in Hanoi?
What do you expect out of this very Kim, Putin summit?
The nuclear clock remains ticking, the parties of interest remain busy. Immediately after this summit Mr. Putin heads off to meet President Xi Jinping of China. Word has it there may soon be a visit by the Chinese president to North Korea. South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said he's willing to engage in talks with North Korea's Kim Jong-un anytime, anywhere. Washington says its door remains open to talks with Pyeongyang, but. What's your forecast of this complicated global calculus?