North Korea's Kim and Russia's Putin to meet on April 25

North Korea's Kim and Russia's Putin to meet on April 25

Kim Jong-un's chief aide, Kim Chang Son, was seen in Vladivostok on Sunday, leading to speculation that the Putin-Kim summit will be held in the city around April 24-25. The Russian news agency TASS added that Kim would spend Wednesday night in North Korea near the Russian border, a necessary stop given the length of the train ride from Pyongyang, estimated to take between 15 and 24 hours depending on the condition of Kim's train.

Ushakov met last week in Moscow with Fiona Hill, a foreign policy adviser to Trump, for talks on North Korea.

This was a factor in the State Department's decision to dispatch its point man for the negotiations, Steve Biegun, to Moscow last week ahead of the Kim-Putin summit. -North Korea summit in Vietnam in February meant no relief on sanctions for North Korea, analysts said.

Since Hanoi, the North has not attended any of the eight regular weekly meetings of the heads of their joint liaison office in Kaesong, and has not taken part in other joint projects, such as excavations in the DMZ.

Nuclear activity seems to be continuing in North Korea, and the country said it had tested a new "tactical guided weapon" - thought to be a short-range missile - earlier in April.

After meetings with Xi Jinping, Donald Trump and Moon Jae-in, Mr Kim will travel for talks with Vladimir Putin.

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The upcoming visit will be Kim's first trip to Russian Federation.

The Soviet Union installed Kim's grandfather Kim Il Sung as North Korea's leader and was a crucial backer and main aid provider to Pyongyang during the Cold War.

Trump failed to win concessions from Kim over scrapping nuclear weapons during this week's Hanoi summit.

South Korean TV KBS has published a video allegedly showing a motorcade of North Korean delegation which arrived in Russia's Vladivostok ahead of the North Korean leader's visit to Russian Federation.

The trade volume between North Korea and Russian Federation stood at US$34 million in 2018, down 56.3 percent from the $77.9 million tallied the previous year amid worldwide sanctions imposed on the North over its nuclear and missile programs.

"Currently I understand North Korea is requesting Russia to keep the current 40,000 North Korean labourers in Russia, but Russia is under pressure from the United Nations Security Council which demands the return of North Korean labourers as a sanction against North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile experimentations", he said.

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