Moscow, MINA – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un crossed the border into Russia on Wednesday by train, Russian media reported, for his first trip there aimed at galvanizing support from President Vladimir Putin while nuclear talks with Washington are in limbo.
Kim is expected to project himself as a serious world player with his first meeting with the Russian leader and at the same time seek assistance from a key ally to ease economic pressure brought on by U.S. and international sanctions, as quoted by the Moscow Times.
The young leader will meet with Putin in the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok on Thursday with the nuclear stalemate with the United States topping the agenda, Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov said.
“In the last few months the situation around the peninsula has stabilized somewhat, thanks in large part to North Korea’s initiatives of stopping rocket testing and closing its nuclear test site,” Ushakov told reporters.
“Russia intends to help in any way possible to cement that positive trend.”
Arriving in an armored train at the Russian border station of Khasan, Kim was greeted with flowers and traditional gifts of bread and salt, the RIA news agency reported, citing an unnamed local government official.
He then toured the Russian-Korean Friendship House located at the station, built ahead of a 1986 visit by his late grandfather and state-founder and leader Kim Il Sung who died in 1994, RIA said.
“I hope the talks will be successful and useful,” he said Wednesday in comments broadcast by Russia‘s state-owned Rossiya 24 television station. “I hope that we can discuss concrete questions about peace negotiations on the Korean peninsula, and our bilateral relations,” he said, speaking through an interpreter.(T/R04/P2)
Miraj News Agency (MINA)