"There are no secrets here, no conspiracies... Chairman Kim himself asked us to inform the American side of our position," said Putin, who was due to fly on to Beijing for another summit.
Kim, who arrived a day earlier in his armoured train, was expected to stay in Vladivostok until Friday for cultural events that Russian media have reported will include a ballet and a visit to the city's aquarium.
The meeting was Kim's first with another head of state since returning from his Hanoi summit with US President Donald Trump, which broke down in February without a deal on North Korea's nuclear arsenal.
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 Russia denies.
There were no concrete announcements or agreements, but analysts said Thursday's meeting was valuable to both sides.
"For North Korea, it's all about securing another exit. China talks about sanctions relief but it doesn't really put it into action," said Koo Kab-woo, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.
Soon after his first election as Russian president, Putin sought to normalise relations and met Kim Jong Il -- the current leader's father and predecessor -- three times, including a 2002 meeting also held in Vladivostok.
China has since cemented its role as the isolated North's most important ally, its largest trading partner and crucial fuel supplier, and analysts say Kim could be looking to balance Beijing's influence.
While ties between Moscow and Pyongyang have remained cordial, the last meeting between their leaders came in 2011, when Kim Jong Il told then-president Dmitry Medvedev that he was prepared to renounce nuclear testing.
His son has since overseen by far the country's most powerful blast to date, and launch of missiles which Pyongyang says are capable of reaching the entire US mainland.