North Korea’s Kim Jong-un to visit Russia for talks with Vladimir Putin

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s bullet-proof train is reportedly en route to Russia where a meeting is due to take place with President Vladimir Putin.

The Kremlin has confirmed the two leaders will meet in the Russian city of Vladivostok “in coming days”. The official visit was “at the invitation” of the Russian president.

Mr Kim’s trip to Russia and the meeting with Mr Putin will be a full-scale visit, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov added.

“There will be talks between the two delegations. And after that, if necessary, the leaders will continue their communication in a one-on-one format,” Mr Peskov said.

Western media quoting US government sources have suggested the two leaders are expected to discuss weapons supplies to bolster Russia’s war in Ukraine.

North Korea’s reclusive leader very rarely leaves his hermit country and when he does, he travels by armoured train.

On Tuesday morning (AEDT) media reports from South Korea said Mr Kim had boarded his armoured train in Pyongyang heading for the border, but this was not confirmed.

Russia is concerned with securing supplies of weapons and ammunition for its war against Ukraine, the New York Times has reported, citing unnamed officials from the US and allied governments.

The newspaper said Mr Putin was hoping for North Korean artillery shells and anti-tank weapons while Mr Kim was said to be hoping for advanced technology for satellites and nuclear-powered submarines, as well as food aid.

North Korea has been considered a possible supplier of artillery ammunition and missiles for some time, because it has specialised in modernising Soviet weapons systems.

According to the New York Times report, the visit is to take place on the sidelines of an economic forum in Vladivostok, on the east coast of Russia, scheduled for September 10-13.

According to the Kremlin’s Mr Peskov, the main topic of the talks will be bilateral relations between the neighbouring countries.

“We will continue to strengthen our friendship,” Mr Peskov said.

A harbinger of the Mr Kim visit was the trip of Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu to Pyongyang in August to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.

During Shoigu’s visit, agreements were reached on stronger military co-operation.

Mr Kim has only been to Russia once, when he visited Vladivostok in April 2019 – also with his armoured train.

At the time, the talks with Mr Putin focused on the North Korean nuclear programme and the strengthening of economic co-operation.

However, there were no concrete results.

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