North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has left for Russia for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, South Korean television station YTN reported on Monday, citing anonymous government sources. The Kremlin confirmed this information.
UPDATE. The Kremlin confirmed on Monday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will visit Russia “in the coming days”, at the invitation of Vladimir Putin, reports CNN.
“At the invitation of the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, the Chairman of State Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim Jong Un, will pay an official visit to Russia in the coming days,” the Kremlin said in a statement on Monday.
The Kremlin did not specify an exact date for this visit.
North Korean state media KCNA reported on Monday that Kim would “meet and hold a discussion” with Putin during the visit. She also did not specify when the meeting between Kim and Putin will take place.
THE INITIAL NEWS. Kim would head to his country’s northeastern border aboard a special train, with the meeting with Putin expected to take place on Tuesday at the earliest. Previously, YTN announced that the two leaders will meet on Wednesday.
On Monday morning, the Russian Interfax news agency reported that Kim Jong Un is to visit the Russian Far East “in the coming days”, writes Agerpres, citing Reuters.
If confirmed, Kim’s visit to Russia would be his first foreign trip in over four years and the first since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, the American newspaper The New York Times reported that the North Korean leader will travel to Vladivostok aboard an armored train later this month to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Between September 10-13, Vladivostok hosts the Eastern Economic Forum, organized by the Kremlin.
According to the American newspaper, Putin would like Pyongyang to sell artillery and anti-tank missiles to Russia, while North Korea would be looking for advanced technology to manufacture nuclear-powered satellites and submarines, as well as food aid.
The most recent Putin-Kim meeting took place in April 2019, also in Vladivostok.
Editor: Bogdan Păcurar