North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is expected to visit the port city of Vladivostok in Russia’s far east on an armored train this month to meet President Vladimir Putin , possibly to discuss providing Russia with weapons for its war with Ukraine.
The trip, which has not been officially confirmed, will likely be his first visit abroad in more than four years and his first since the coronavirus pandemic.
The more than 1,000km journey to Vladivostok across the border with Russia is likely to take almost a full day, given the North’s sometimes antiquated rail network. Although he traveled abroad more frequently than his father, Kim Jong Il, as leader, Kim’s trips were often shrouded in secrecy and tight security. Unlike his father, who is said to be averse to flying, Kim has flown private jets made in Russia for some of his trips.
In 2004, there was a huge explosion at a train station near the border after Kim Jong Il died on a train returning from China, killing more than 100 people. The cause, and whether this was an assassination attempt, has never been confirmed.
Following are Kim Jong Un’s visits abroad since taking power in 2011.
* March 25-28, 2018: Making his first overseas trip as leader, Kim visits China, North Korea’s main political ally and economic contributor. He traveled to Beijing on a special train and held a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping .
The train, with its signature green paint, is believed to have loaded more than 20 armored cars and was equipped with a communications system and a special cabin for Kim with a bright white interior where he is seen working and holding meetings with his aides, according to official North Korean media and South Korean analysts. .
* April 27, 2018: Kim crosses the inter-Korean border at the truce village of Panmunjom for a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. This is the first time a North Korean leader has set foot in South Korea, Kim’s first summit with a South Korean leader, and the third such meeting a North Korean leader has ever had. The two countries pledged to improve relations, end military confrontation and bring peace and shared prosperity.
* May 7-8, 2018: Kim flies his private Ilyushin jet to the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian and holds a summit with Xi. Both discussed deepening relations between traditional allies. This visit comes amid expectations of Kim’s summit with US President Donald Trump.
* June 10-12, 2018: Kim boarded an American-built Boeing 747 operated by Air China on a direct flight from Pyongyang to Singapore for the first-ever summit between North Korea and the United States. The meeting resulted in a joint statement regarding the formation of new relations between the two countries, providing security guarantees for North Korea, and North Korea’s promise to end its nuclear program.
* June 19-20, 2018: Kim visits China in Ilyushin jet and discusses North Korean denuclearization with Xi in Beijing. Accompanied by senior economic aides, Kim visited China’s industrial facilities and agricultural research centres.
* January 7-10, 2019: Kim visits China for the fourth time, traveling to Beijing by train amid expectations of a second summit with Trump.
* February 26-28, 2019: Kim visits Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, for a second summit with Trump. He took a train from Pyongyang via China for three days to Vietnam. After two days of meetings, talks between Kim and Trump broke down due to disagreements over lifting sanctions imposed on North Korea and how to give up its nuclear program.
* April 24, 2019: Kim visits Vladivostok for his first summit with Putin. Kim boarded a train for a nearly full-day journey, crossing the Tumen River border into Russia.
* June 30, 2019: Kim crosses the inter-Korean border for talks with Trump.
* September 2023: Kim is expected to visit Vladivostok, again by train, for a summit with Putin, which would be his first trip abroad in more than four years.
Source : Tempo.co