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N. Korean Leader Kim Jong-un's Train in Russia

N. Korean Leader Kim Jong-un's Train in Russia

Anchor: With the North Korea-Russia summit imminent, foreign media outlets are reporting that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un crossed the Russian border, and is currently traveling through the country. The Kremlin said the leaders of the two countries will meet in the coming days in the Russian Far East, and that they were ready to discuss issues surrounding UN sanctions.
Max Lee reports.

Report: North Korea's state media on Tuesday released photos of leader Kim Jong-un departing Pyongyang for Russia ahead of a meeting with President Vladimir Putin. 

The official Korean Central News Agency(KCNA) said that Kim left Pyongyang on his private train on Sunday afternoon, accompanied by top officials from the North's ruling party and the armed forces. 

Seoul's defense ministry said it is keeping tabs for negotiations over arms trade or transfer of military technology, which are in violation of UN Security Council sanctions on the regime.

[Sound bite: Defense Ministry Spokesperson Jeon ha-kyu (Korean-English)]
"The Defense Ministry believes that Kim Jong-un probably entered Russia early this morning. Considering the large number of military personnel accompanying Kim, we are closely watching whether negotiations on arms trade and technology transfer between North Korea and Russia will take place." 

The Kremlin, which previously formalized the meeting, announced that the two leaders will meet in the Russian Far East after Putin’s participation at the Eastern Economic Forum which runs through Wednesday. It added that the talks will involve various conversations related to bilateral relations, as well as issues surrounding the region.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also noted that Moscow will cooperate with Pyongyang at the UN Security Council, and is ready to discuss issues involving UN sanctions against North Korea if necessary, suggesting that the sanctions could be flouted.

Dr. Sung-Yoon Lee at Woodrow Wilson International Center and other North Korea experts believe that in exchange for providing weapons to Russia, Pyongyang would ask for food and energy, as well as high-tech weapons technologies from Moscow.

[Sound bite: Dr. Sung-Yoon Lee - Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center]
“Russia needs fromNorth Korea: ammunition, shells, artillery, small arms and probably manpower aswell. Soldiers. North Korea needs from Russia: money, food and most likely hightech military machines.”
Despite wide speculation that the two sides will discuss a possible arms deal, the Kremlin has made no comment on the matter.

According to Russian media outlets, no news conference by the leaders is planned following the summit talks. There’s yet to be any confirmation on the location of the meeting, or whether the North Korean leader would attend the economic forum. 
Max Lee, KBS World Radio News.

[Photo : YONHAP News]

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