North Korean Leader Arrives in Russia For Summit With Putin

North Korea's Kim arrives in Russia for summit with Putin

Kim set to arrive in Vladivostok for summit with Putin

The train crossed the Tumen river and arrived in Khasan, where women in folk costumes welcomed Mr Kim with bread and salt in a traditional greeting.

Kim, dressed in a black coat and a fedora, met Russian officials at Russia's Khasan train station near its border with the North.

Since March 2018, the formerly reclusive North Korean leader has held four meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, 3 with the South's Moon Jae-in, 2 with Trump and one with Vietnam's president.

In Hanoi, the cash-strapped North demanded immediate relief from the sanctions imposed on it over its banned nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, but the talks broke down in disagreement over what Pyongyang was prepared to give up in return. But if confirmed, Kim Yong Chol's replacement would add to speculation that he is being sidelined from nuclear diplomacy to take responsibility for the failure of the Hanoi summit.

The North Korean leader evoked his father's "great love for Russia" and said that he intends to strengthen the ties between the two countries.

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While ties between Russian Federation and the North have remained cordial, the last meeting between their leaders came in 2011, when Kim Jong Il told then-president Dmitry Medvedev that he was prepared to renounce nuclear testing.

Kim then sat down with local officials, as well as a Russian deputy foreign minister, before setting off again for the Pacific port city of Vladivostok for his summit with Putin, set to begin on Thursday.

When the talks failed, Washington insisted that dialogue with North Korea would continue and that the collapse was not a major disappointment.

Russian and North Korean flags were already flying on lamp posts Tuesday on Vladivostok's Russky island, where the summit is expected to take place at a university campus. North Korea has sent tens of thousands of citizens to places like Russian Federation and China for manual labor, earning the regime more than $500 million a year in vital foreign currency - or about 1.5 percent of the country's economy.

The North Korean leader's distinct armored green train pulled up to the station in Vladivostok and came to a stop as North Korean officials scrambled to the door to put down ramps.

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In this photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves at an undisclosed train station in North Korea Wednesday, April 24, 2019, before leaving for Russian Federation. "This meeting is important for Russian worldwide prestige", he said.

For Putin, the summit will offer him another chance to intervene in high-stakes nuclear talks and flex Russia's muscles on the global stage, where Moscow is increasing its diplomatic clout.

Like Beijing, Moscow does not want to create regime change in Pyongyang, which could potentially wreak havoc in the area, inviting more USA influence. Kremlin advisor Yuri Ushakov said the "nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula" would be the main item on the agenda, reported Al Jazeera. He noted that the North's moratorium on nuclear tests and the scaling down of U.S.

The visit is part of Kim's effort to build foreign support after the breakdown of a second U.S. His chief of staff Kim Chang Son and sister Kim Yo Jong were also spotted in the Far Eastern city earlier this week, South Korean media reported.

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