North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is believed to have crossed in Russia on his armored private train, South Korea’s defense ministry said on Tuesday, amid warnings from Washington against North Korea engaging in an arms deal with Russia.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there would be negotiations involving two delegations, and if needed, the leaders would engage in a “one-on-one format.”
On Monday, Mr. Putin arrived in Russia’s far eastern city of Vladivostok to attend the 2023 Eastern Economic Forum, which is slated to wrap up on Sept. 13.
Neither nation has disclosed information about the purpose of their meeting. U.S. officials believe discussions about a potential arms deal will likely occur during Mr. Kim’s visit.
The United States has urged North Korea not to sell weapons to Russia that could be used against Ukraine.
The North Korean and Russian leaders last met in April 2019, during which Mr. Kim also made the 20-hour train ride to Vladivostok, roughly 300 miles from the North Korean border.
North Korea Will ‘Pay a Price’
National security advisor Jake Sullivan earlier warned that North Korea will “pay a price” if it supplies weapons to Russia.
Mr. Sullivan said that Moscow is seeking support from North Korea because “we have continued to squeeze Russia’s defense industrial base, and they are now going about looking to whatever source they can find for things like artillery ammunition.”
Providing Russia with weapons for its ongoing war against Ukraine “is not going to reflect well on North Korea, and they will pay a price for this in the international community,” the U.S. official added.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said last month that any arms deal between the two countries would directly violate United Nations Security Council resolutions.