Kim Jong Un reaches Russia in armoured train for meeting with Vladimir Putin: Reports 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s heavily armoured train has crossed into Russia ahead of a closely watched meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, state media detailed Tuesday, amid alerts from the U.S. that the two leaders could make an arms deal. 

The armoured train was voyaging north through Primorsky Krai in the Far East area of the country, Russian state news organisation RIA revealed. The defense ministry of South Korea said it believed that Kim entered Russia early Tuesday morning. 

A video shared by Russia Today on Monday and geolocated by CNN showed the train purportedly carrying Kim close to the Russian-North Korean border by the Tumen river. 

The U.S. government said last week that such a meeting, expected to occur in Russia’s far east, could happen as part of Russia’s endeavours to find new arms suppliers to use in its war against Ukraine. 

The spokesperson of South Korean defence ministry Jeon Ha-kyu said Tuesday they are intently observing whether North Korea and Russia will continue with negotiations on arms deal and technology transfer. 

Russia frantically requires new supplies of ammunition and shells while North Korea, which has confronted long periods of international sanctions over its nuclear weapons program, is shy of all that from hard money and food to missile technology. 

The North Korean leader left the capital, Pyongyang, on Sunday joined by top party officials and members of the government and military, Korean Central News Agency detailed Tuesday. 

Pictures released by KCNA showed Kim strolling down a red carpet at a Pyongyang station and boarding the green train encompassed by authorities. A horde of spectators were seen cheering behind the scenes and waving banners. 

Neither one of the nations has specified when or where the visit would occur, nor what might be on the agenda of the meeting.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said bilateral relations between the countries will be vital to the meeting, which will be a “full-blown visit, with talks between the two delegations,” Russian state media TASS reported. 

A formal dinner is likewise planned to honour Kim’s visit to Russia, Peskov added. 

Putin reportedly arrived in Vladivostok on Monday to go to the Eastern Economic Forum, Peskov expressed earlier, as per state television Russia 24. 

Kim’s first foreign trip since Coronavirus pandemic 

Kim’s arrival in Russia marks his first foreign trip since the coronavirus pandemic, during which North Korea closed it borders. This is his 10th trip since assuming power in 2011. 

All of Kim’s past outings – incorporating his first with Putin – came in 2018 and 2019, as the North Korean leader took part in a series of talks over the country’s atomic weapons and rocket programs. 

The North Korea leader is said to favour going in an upscale protected train – as did his dad before him – yet rail travel represents only half of his foreign visits. Three of his nine trips have been made in planes and two to the DMZ, via car. 

Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu additionally visited Pyongyang in July trying to persuade the North to sell mounted ammunitions 

Washington cautions North Korea

Last Tuesday, White House security adviser Jake Sullivan cautioned North Korea will “pay a price” if it strikes out arms deal with Russia, however he didn’t expand on these expected repercussions. 

North Korea is now under United Nations and U.S. sanctions forced over Pyongyang’s weapons program. 

The potential Putin-Kim meeting could prompt Pyongyang to acquire technology expected to foster the kind of weapons these sanctions have barred it from getting for quite some time. 

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