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Kim Jong Un leaves North Korea for Russia ahead of Putin talks

MOSCOW (Sputnik) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un left Pyongyang by special train in the afternoon of September 10 and is now heading to Russia, accompanied by senior officials from his government, state media reported Tuesday.

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. © Valery Melnikov/POOL/TASS

The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) has detailed that Kim is traveling alongside his senior-most government officials.
Photos shared by state media captured both crowds of people and military service members displaying honors as Kim prepared to depart North Korea via train.
Russia and North Korea could discuss the issue of providing humanitarian aid to Pyongyang during the visit of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to Russia, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said on Tuesday. “All issues can be discussed. But humanitarian aid is excluded from Security Council resolutions. There are restrictions, but not on food. I will not predict the results, but since many representatives of our government are there, the issues will be discussed as a whole,” Rudenko told reporters on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Russia’s Vladivostok.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday that the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the North Korean leader would take place in the Russian Far East, and that talks would also include an official dinner. He further indicated that no news conferences were planned at present.
Commenting on the US call to North Korea not to supply weapons to Moscow, Peskov said Moscow and Pyonyang are guided by the interests of the two countries, and not by warnings from Washington.
“When implementing our relations with our neighbors, including North Korea, the interests of our two countries are important to us, and not warnings from Washington. It is the interests of our two countries that we will focus on,” Peskov told reporters.
Earlier Monday, the Kremlin said that the leader of North Korea would visit Russia in the coming days at Putin’s invitation. Peskov noted at the time that the two leaders would discuss the issues of bilateral relations. In addition, the Russian president would hold an official dinner on the occasion of the visit of Kim Jong Un to Russia.
The North Korean leader last met with Russian officials in July, when Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visit Pyongyang to discuss global and regional security matters.
However, Kim last traveled abroad in 2019 to Vladivostok to participate in his first-ever summit with Putin. The meeting involved talks on denuclearisation and relations with American counterparts.

(Latest Update September 13, 2023)

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