July 25, 2024, Thursday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

North Korea leader may be heading to Russia to meet Putin

The Nepal Weekly
September 12, 2023
Kim and Putin (a file photo)

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un has reportedly started his trip to Vladivostok for a summit with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

The armoured train that Kim uses for foreign visits appears to have departed Pyongyang, South Korean media reported citing a government official.

The meeting is likely to take place as early as Tuesday local time.

Russian news agency Interfax has reported earlier that Kim is expected to visit “in the coming days”. If the summit with Putin pushes through, it will be the North Korean leader’s first international visit in more than four years, and the first since the pandemic.

The two leaders are likely to discuss the possibility of North Korea providing Moscow with weapons to support its war in Ukraine, a US official earlier told the BBC’s US partner CBS.

Kim’s last journey abroad was also to Vladivostok in 2019 for his first summit with Putin after the collapse of North Korea’s nuclear disarmament talks with then US President Donald Trump.

It is rumoured to include at least 20 bulletproof cars, making it heavier than average trains and unable to go beyond 59 km/h (37mph). His journey to Vladivostok is expected to take an entire day.

The possible meeting comes after the White House said it had new information that arms negotiations between the two countries were “actively advancing”.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby earlier informed that Russia’s Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu, had tried to “convince Pyongyang to sell artillery ammunition” to Russia during a recent visit to North Korea.

The summit comes at a time when both Russia and North Korea have things that the other country wants, according to Ankit Panda from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.