Kim Jong Un arrives in Russia ahead of meeting with Vladimir Putin

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(LONDON) — The bulletproof train carrying Kim Jong Un arrived to its destination in Russia as the North Korean leader prepared for a summit with President Vladimir Putin, local media reported.

Kim was seen disembarking from his train and being greeted by Russian officials in Khasan in the Primorsky region in video shared by Reuters. The governor of Russia’s Primorsky region, Oleg Kozhemyako, published a video on Tuesday of Kim talking to Russian officials after his arrival in Russia.

Earlier in the day, Russian media posted a video of the green-and-gold train traveling north in Primorye, the far-east district where Vladivostok is located. The green-and-gold train in the video appeared to match images released on Monday by the Korean Central News Agency, North Korea’s state-run media.

The Kremlin on Monday announced that Putin would travel to Vladivostok for an economic forum. The office said the two leaders would meet in the coming days but didn’t offer specifics about the timing or location of the summit.

U.S. officials said discussions have advanced between the two countries about a possible plan for North Korea to supply weapons to Russia.

Kim’s train departed Pyongyang on Sunday, beginning its journey to Russia for a planned meeting with President Vladimir Putin, a South Korean official told ABC News.

“Our Dearest Comrade Kim Jong Un will be visiting Russia upon invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin. During the visit he will meet Putin and hold a summit,” the Korean Central News Agency reported Monday.

South Korean officials said the train was expected to cover the about 683 miles to Vladivostok in about 20 hours, a timeline that included with a long stopover at the Russia-North Korea border, needed to switch to wheels that would fit Russian railway tracks.

Kim has rarely left North Korea since he took power in 2011. His most recently documented international trips were in 2019, a year in which he stepped over the border to visit with then-President Donald Trump and traveled via train to Russia.

When he does travel, he prefers to do so via the rails in the heavy and slow-moving bullet-proof train, as his father and grandfather did when they were in power, NPR reported.

ABC News’ Ellie Kaufman and Joohee Cho contributed to this story.

 

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