The North Korean leader crossed the border at Khasan and was greeted by local authorities. It's Kim's first trip abroad since the second meeting with Donald Trump. After the failed summit, Pyongyang strengthens diplomatic relations with China and Russia.
Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrives today in Vladivostok, in the Far East of Russia, for his first summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. After leaving late at night from a secret North Korean station and a stopover in the border town of Khasan (photo), Kim's special train will soon enter the Pacific port city, where Moscow authorities have implemented strict protocols of safety.
At Khasan, Kim was welcomed by Alexander Kozlov, the Far East Development Minister, and Oleg Kozhemyako, governor of Primorsky Krai. "(This) my visit to Russia will not be the last, it will only be a first move (in the development of bilateral relations)," Kim told Kozlov according to a statement released on the local government website.
The visit to Russia is Kim's first trip abroad since his second meeting with US President Donald Trump in Hanoi last February. In Vietnam, the two leaders failed to resolve their differences over Pyongyang's denuclearization and economic sanctions imposed by Washington.
After Hanoi's stalemate, Pyongyang has strengthened diplomatic relations with China and Russia, its traditional allies; meanwhile, it continued to demand flexibility in response to Washington's hard line in the nuclear negotiations. The Kremlin has confirmed that the summit will take place tomorrow. Yuri Ushakov, spokesman for the Russian government, reports that the main item on the summit agenda will be how to resolve the stalemate.
Putin is expected in Vladivostok for tomorrow but it is possible that both Russian Yury Trutnev, Russian deputy prime minister and plenipotentiary of the president in the federal district, will welcome Kim on his arrival. The day after tomorrow, the North Korean leader will leave for Pyongyang.