North Korea-Russia Summit
Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) greets North Korean leader Kim Jong Un before a meeting in Vladivostok, Russia, April 25, 2019. Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

During a Thursday summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un accused the United States of showing “bad faith” during the February talks between him and President Donald Trump to discuss North Korea’s denuclearization.

Although details of the talks between Kim and Putin, held at the Far East Russian port of Vladivostok, were not reported, North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) revealed one crucial aspect of their discussion.

“Kim Jong Un said that the situation on the Korean peninsula and the region is now at a standstill and has reached a critical point where it may return to its original state as the U.S. took an unilateral attitude in bad faith at the recent second DPRK-U.S. summit talks,” KCNA said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Reuters reported. “Peace and security on the Korean peninsula will entirely depend on the U.S. future attitude, and the DPRK will gird itself for every possible situation.”

The North Korean leader’s remarks came two months after denuclearization talks with Trump fell through during their Vietnam summit in February. The meeting was cut short before both the leaders could sign a joint agreement. Washington said the North had wanted a complete lifting of economic sanctions, a demand Trump gave as the reason for not reaching an agreement with Kim. North Korea, on the other hand, said it had asked for merely an easing of sanctions, not a complete removal.

After meeting Kim, Putin backed the North Korean stance, saying the country needed "guarantees of its security, the preservation of its sovereignty. ... We need to... return to a state where international law, not the law of the strongest, determines the situation in the world."

He also told reporters after more than three-hour-long meeting on a university campus in Vladivostok: “Chairman Kim Jong Un himself asked us to inform the American side about his position. There are no secrets here. We will discuss this with the Americans and our Chinese partners.”

Both U.S. and Russian political experts opined that Kim’s meeting with the Russian president was a deliberate strategic move by the North Korean leader in an effort to seek international allies who can help his nation obtain relief from the strict sanctions against it and achieve diplomatic support against the threats made by the U.S. This explained why Kim accepted Moscow’s invitation for a summit only after Trump walked away from the Hanoi summit without a disarmament deal, despite Putin having extended an invitation almost a year ago.

"This is the breakthrough the [North] Korean side needed to tell the U.S.: 'Look, we have normal ties with Moscow, if something happens, we will run to them for protection, stop waving your fists,'" Dmitry Zhuravlev, director general of the Institute of Regional Issues, a Moscow think-tank, told Al Jazeera.

William Hagerty, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, told a Washington think tank: “The fact you see Kim Jong Un meeting with Vladimir Putin underscores the fact that the sanctions are working and the sanctions are putting extreme economic pressure on the North Korean regime. What we see is an outreach to try to find a way to deal with it. There is a much simpler way to deal with it and that is to denuclearize.”

During his first ever visit to Russia since taking the reins of his county, Kim said he was willing to wait till the end of the year to give the U.S. time to reconsider its stance on how it wanted to proceed with its relation with North Korea.