The Kremlin is confirming a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will take place in Russia’s Far East “in the coming days.”
The Kremlin's press service says Kim's state visit comes by invitation of Putin.
U.S. officials last week were the first to say the meeting would take place. Officials said it would be held against the backdrop of an annual economic forum in the Russian Pacific port city of Vladivostok, eight time zones east of Moscow.
Putin arrived in Vladivostok early Monday, ahead of a scheduled address to the forum later this week.
Meanwhile, South Korean media reported that the reclusive Kim had departed for the Russian border aboard his private armored train.
Kim's visit will mark his first trip outside North Korea since the start of the pandemic. Kim last met Putin in 2019, also in Vladivostok.
The gathering of the two leaders comes amid U.S. claims that Putin is eager to secure additional North Korean arms for Russia's grinding war in Ukraine — perhaps in exchange for food aid or technological support.
NPR's Anthony Kuhn contributed reporting from Seoul.
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