North Korea’s Kim on way to Russia to meet Putin on Thursday

This combination file photo, shows Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, in St. Petersburg, Russia, April 9, 2019, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Feb. 28, 2019. When Kim meets with Putin for their first one-on-one meeting, he will have a long wish list and a strong desire to notch a win after the failure of his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in February 2019. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, Evan Vucci, File)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for a much-anticipated summit Thursday, the Kremlin said, ending weeks of speculation about the meeting’s timing and venue.

Preparations for the meeting in Vladivostok, a Russia city on the Pacific, were held in secrecy because of North Korean security concerns, Kremlin adviser Yuri Ushakov said Tuesday.

Ushakov said the talks would focus on the standoff over the North’s nuclear program, noting that Russia will seek to “consolidate the positive trends” stemming from U.S. President Donald Trump’s meetings with Kim.