Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday began their first official meeting in the Far Eastern Russian port city of Vladivostok.
"I'm happy to see you here," Putin told Kim, adding that he hoped he could help resolve the dispute between the US and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme.
"We welcome your efforts on the development of inter-Korean dialogue and on the normalization of North Korean-US relations," he added.
The two leaders were pictured shaking hands at the beginning of their meeting under tight security on Russky island, part of a university campus, before sitting down and smiling into the waiting cameras.
After the ceremonial greeting the two leaders were to hold one-on-one talks followed by expanded talks, according to the Russian news agency TASS. No formal statement or declaration were expected.