At his first summit with Russia's Vladimir Putin, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un accused the United States of acting in bad faith at their most recent talks, state media in Pyongyang said on Friday.
Kim and Putin met on Thursday in the far eastern Russian port of Vladivostok, for their first summit - squarely aimed at countering US influence as Kim faces off with Donald Trump over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal.
Putin was keen to put Moscow forward as a player in a new global flashpoint - and it appears Kim was eager to take him up on the idea, during talks described by KCNA as unreserved and friendly.
The two leaders greeted each other warmly, shaking hands and sharing smiles, at the start of meetings on an island off Vladivostok that lasted nearly five hours.
Putin, known for delaying meetings with international guests, was waiting for Kim when he emerged from his limousine.
During the talks, Kim said the situation on the Korean peninsula and the region is now at a standstill and has reached a critical point, the Korean Central News Agency said.
He warned that the situation may return to its original state as the US took an unilateral attitude in bad faith at the recent second DPRK-US summit talks, the agency added.
Peace and security on the Korean peninsula will entirely depend on the US future attitude, and the DPRK will gird itself for every possible situation, KCNA quoted Kim as saying.
The Kim-Trump summit broke down in late February without a deal on North Korea's nuclear arsenal.
At those talks, cash-strapped Pyongyang demanded immediate relief from sanctions, but the two sides disagreed over what the North was prepared to give up in return.
Russia has already called for the sanctions to be eased, while the US has accused it of trying to help Pyongyang evade some of the measures -- accusations Moscow denies.
Just a week ago, Pyongyang demanded the removal of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from the stalled nuclear talks, accusing him of derailing the process.
On Thursday, Putin emerged from the meeting saying that like Washington, Moscow supports efforts to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula and prevent nuclear conflicts.
But he also insisted that the North 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, Putin said.
The meeting was Kim's first with another head of state since returning from his Hanoi summit with Trump. It followed repeated invitations from Putin after Kim embarked on a series of diplomatic overtures last year.
Since March 2018, the North Korean leader has held four meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, three with South Korea's Moon Jae-in, two with Trump and one with Vietnam's president.
Putin told reporters that he would fill in Washington on the results of the talks.