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Report: North Korea's Kim departs for Putin summit in Russia

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MOSCOW -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un departed for Russia by train on Wednesday morning to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported citing Pyongyang's KCNA.

The meeting between Kim and Putin, their first, will take place in the eastern port city of Vladivostok, which lies near the border with China and North Korea. It will be Kim's first official visit to Russia.

Kim is expected to arrive at the Russian border station in Khasan via armored train on Wednesday around 10 a.m., Interfax reported on Tuesday, without specifying its sources.

The North Korean leader is due to make a brief stop there to visit a house where his father, Kim Jong Il, and grandfather, Kim Il Sung, also made stops during their travels.

Kim has held two summits with U.S. President Donald Trump as Washington, an ally of South Korea, seeks denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Tensions between Pyongyang and Washington have continued to simmer in the wake of the two summits, with North Korea recently calling for the replacement of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a negotiator.


In addition to the increasing hostility toward Pompeo, North Korea last week tested a "new type of tactical guided weapon," its state news agency reported. It was the country's first known weapons test since February's failed U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Russia and North Korea recently acknowledged preparations for a meeting but declined to name a time or place, with a Kremlin spokesman citing security concerns.

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