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Kim Jong Un Arrives in Russia for Talks with Putin

Kim Jong Un Arrives in Russia for Talks with Putin

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reached Russia, a source told Reuters on Tuesday, for what the Kremlin said would be a comprehensive discussion with President Vladimir Putin amid warnings from Washington they should not agree on an arms deal.

Kim Arrivias Russia:

Kim left Pyongyang for Russia on Sunday on his private train, the North’s state media reported on Tuesday, accompanied by top arms industry and military officials.

A Russian source with knowledge of the trip told Reuters Kim arrived in Russia on Tuesday morning, leaving his train to meet local officials in Khasan, the main rail gateway to Russia’s Far East, before continuing.

Kim’s arrival was also reported on Tuesday by Russia’s state television, Rossiya 1, which showed a train purported to be carrying the North Korean leader – with its signature olive green paint scheme – crossing a bridge.

Purpose of the Visit:

“It will be a full-fledged visit,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “There will be negotiations between two delegations, and if necessary, the leaders will continue their communication in a one-on-one format.”

Russian officials said that discussions could also include humanitarian aid to North Korea and the U.N. Security Council resolutions imposed against Pyongyang.

U.S. Concerns Over Arms Talks:

U.S. officials, who first said the visit was imminent, said that arms talks between Russia and North Korea were advancing. Kim and Putin will likely discuss providing Russia with weapons for the war in Ukraine.

Putin arrived in Vladivostok on Monday, Russia’s TASS news agency said. He attended the Eastern Economic Forum plenary session, which runs through Wednesday.

According to Russian news agencies, Peskov said that his meeting with Kim would come after the forum and that no news conference by the leaders is planned.

There has been no confirmation of the location of the meeting or whether Kim will attend the economic forum.

Concerns Over Military Cooperation:

Pyongyang and Moscow have denied that North Korea would supply arms to Russia, which has expended vast stocks of weapons in more than 18 months of war.

Washington and its allies have expressed concern at recent signs of closer military cooperation between Russia and the nuclear-armed North. It will be Kim’s second summit with Putin after they met in 2019 on his last trip abroad.

Russia’s Response to U.S. Warnings:

Peskov said Russia’s national interests would dictate its policies.

“As you know, while implementing our relations with our neighbours, including North Korea, the interests of our two countries are important to us, and not warnings from Washington,” Peskov was quoted as saying by Russian media.

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