First Russia - DPRK summit will take place on April 25th (Photo: AP)

The Kremlin said on April 18th that leader Kim plans to visit Russia “in the second half of April”. 

On April 23rd, the DPRK’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) also released a terse, two-sentence statement saying leader Kim “will soon pay a visit to the Russian Federation,” and that he and Putin “will have talks”. 

Kim Jong-un's chief aide, Kim Chang Son, was seen in Vladivostok on April 21st, the Republic of Korea (RoK) news agency Yonhap reported. The Russian news agency Interfax reported that a limousine used by the DPRK leader had been brought to Vladivostok.

With his Russian visit, leader Kim is seen working to build up foreign support for his economic development plans, since the breakdown of the second US - DPRK summit in Hanoi in February led to stalled talks with Washington on the sanctions relief Pyongyang had sought.

The RoK Foreign Ministry said it understood the agenda would include Russia - DPRK relations, denuclearization, and regional cooperation.

“Russia shares our viewpoints such as the achievement of complete denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and the settlement of permanent peace,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Kim In-chul said at a briefing in Seoul.

“I hope that the summit will be an opportunity that contributes to positive progress.”/.

Compiled by BTA