Russian state tv confirmed Kim stepping out of his inexperienced non-public prepare at a railway station within the japanese port metropolis, Wednesday afternoon below a leaden sky.
Carrying a black homburg and overcoat, he was greeted on the station by officers and a brass band. Putin was not a part of the welcoming committee.
The younger North Korean chief left the capital of Pyongyang on Wednesday at daybreak and traveled to Russia by prepare, as he did for his summit with US President Donald Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The journey from the prepare station in Khasan, close to the North Korean border, to Vladivostok took about 9 hours.
After crossing the Russian border, Kim stopped on the Khasan station the place was introduced with flowers in addition to bread and salt — a Russian custom for welcoming visitors — native lawmaker Natalia Karpova instructed Russian state information company TASS.
Kim stated he was “completely happy to be on Russian soil,” the Russian area of Primorsky reported on its official web site.
Timing of talks vital
Kim’s go to to North Korea’s northern neighbor comes amid an deadlock within the nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington. Trump and Kim’s Hanoi assembly ended early with out an settlement, with the 2 sides seemingly far aside on easy methods to commerce sanctions reduction for significant steps towards denuclearization.
A State Division spokesperson stated the USA is conscious of the experiences that Kim has left for Russia.
“The US and the worldwide group is dedicated to the identical objective — the ultimate, absolutely verified denuclearization of North Korea. It’s Chairman Kim’s dedication to denuclearization upon which the world is targeted.”
Kim himself stated there may very well be repercussions if talks proceed to stall throughout a gathering of North Korea’s rubber-stamp parliament earlier this month.
Analysts have speculated that Kim’s assembly with Putin may very well be a method for the younger North Korean chief to evaluate his diplomatic choices exterior talks with the USA.
North Korea could hope for Russian help in pressuring Washington over sanctions reduction, which continues to be a significant sticking difficulty in talks between the 2 sides. The Trump administration has stated sanctions will solely be lifted after North Korea provides up its nuclear weapons program.
Pyongyang additionally could also be in search of to minimize its financial reliance on Beijing, North Korea’s solely vital buying and selling accomplice. Former North Korean chief Kim Il Sung was infamous for taking part in China and the Soviet Union off one another to be able to maximize overseas funding.
CNN’s Jennifer Hansler and Chandler Thornton contributed to this report.