Russian President Vladimir Putin has formally invited North Korean President Kim Jong-Un to a meeting with him in Russia for the first time later this month, according to the Kremlin.
Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov confirmed that an “invitation has been handed over.”
“We are awaiting our North Korean counterparts’ response,” he said. A date for the meeting will be confirmed after the invitation has been accepted by Jong-Un.
September 2018 Russian press reported that plans for a meeting between Kim Jong-Un and Vladimir Putin were accepted by Jong-Un, but that no meeting took place.
The meeting would be the first Russian-DPRK summit in eight years (2011, the year Jong-Un came to power), and third since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
“One of the biggest questions remaining is where exactly Kim would meet Putin,” Russian foreign policy analyst Anthony Rinna for the Sino-NK research group said.
According to news companies such as Al Jazeera, “Russia’s Izvestia newspaper cited a diplomatic source on Wednesday as saying the talks would likely be held in Russia‘s far eastern city of Vladivostok, before Putin flies on to an April 26-27 summit in China.”
Translated into English, according to the Russian news company RIA Novosti, Jong-Un’s manager Kim Jang Sung was spotted allegedly inspecting Vladivostok station:
“FNN news service of the Japanese television company Fuji TV reported that Kim Jang Son, who is considered the manager of the DPRK leader Kim Jong-un, was spotted on Wednesday near the railway station in Vladivostok, which may indicate that the head of the North Korean state was preparing for it. On the FNN website, a photograph of Kim Jong Sung was posted near the Vladivostok station, allegedly examining the surroundings for the preparation of Kim Jong Un’s visit.
“They haven’t yet been informed about the reinforcement of the security regime, but they have told everyone that it is necessary to be alert in connection with the imminent arrival of Koreans… We can not confirm, as well as to refute. We have no right to talk about it,” said the deputy head of Vladivostok station.”
By Penny Hoffmann