Alwaght- The leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un has arrived in the Russian city of Vladivostok on Wednesday ahead of his planned summit with Vladimir Putin.
Russian state television showed Kim stepping out of his green private train at a station in the eastern port city. All three generations of the North Korean ruling family have used this unconventional form of transportation for state visits. Kim Jong-un on Wednesday morning rode across the border with Russia at its only crossing – a railroad bridge – and was welcomed by Russian officials at the nearest station.
Kim and Putin are set to meet for the first time Thursday, but do not plan to sign any agreements or make a joint statement.
Kim was also treated to the Russian bread and salt ceremony. Traditionally, honored guests are presented with ‘karavai’ – large round bread – with salt, Russia Today reported.
The main part of Kim’s visit is scheduled for Thursday, when he will meet President Vladimir Putin for the first time. The state visit is a rare event for the two nations. Putin visited North Korea once in 2000, but Kim has never visited Russia since taking power in 2011.
The visit is shrouded in secrecy and was not confirmed until Tuesday. The exact program remains undisclosed, fueling speculation over how long Kim is going to stay and which sites in Russia he will visit. It is rumored that the Vladivostok city aquarium, the headquarters of Russia’s Pacific Fleet, and local bread and dairy factories may be on the list.
Kim's visit to North Korea's northern neighbor comes amid an impasse in the nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington. Trump and Kim's Hanoi meeting ended early without an agreement, with the two sides seemingly far apart on how to trade sanctions relief for meaningful steps toward denuclearization.