Kim Jong-un arrived in Russia on Tuesday, the Kremlin confirmed, traveling aboard his slow-moving armored train to a meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin that could see the two nations increasing military cooperation.
The North’s official Korean Central News Agency published photographs on Tuesday of Mr. Kim and other officials on the train, which is his preferred method of travel during his rare trips out of the country. The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, confirmed Mr. Kim’s arrival in Russia later on Tuesday.
Russian state media shared video that purported to show Mr. Kim disembarking his train in Primorsky Krai, in Russia’s Far East, on Tuesday. He was greeted by Russia’s natural resources and environment minister, Alexander Kozlov, at a station in Khasan, the Russian state news agency Tass reported. Khasan is just across North Korea’s northeastern border.
Mr. Kim and Mr. Putin will discuss bilateral cooperation — including trade and economic ties — and have an “intensive exchange of opinions on the situation in the region,” Mr. Peskov said.
“Naturally, being neighbors, our countries cooperate in certain sensitive spheres which should not be publicly revealed or announced,” he added, according to Tass.
The two leaders are expected to discuss military cooperation between their countries, including the possibility of North Korea supplying Russia with more weapons for the war in Ukraine, U.S. and allied officials told The New York Times last week. North Korea has one of the world’s largest military arsenals, offering Russia access to munitions that could help its forces fighting in Ukraine.
Exactly where the meeting between Mr. Kim and Mr. Putin will take place remains unclear. One possibility is the eastern port city of Vladivostok, where they met in 2019 and where Mr. Putin was attending an economic forum on Tuesday. But in comments at the forum, Mr. Putin said that he was planning to travel to the Vostochny Cosmodrome, a space launch center in Russia’s Amur region, raising the possibility that the leaders would meet there.
Ukraine’s allies, including the United States and Europe, have isolated Russia financially, military and diplomatically since Mr. Putin ordered the full-scale invasion of Ukraine more than 18 months ago. Mr. Putin has turned to allies, hoping to gain support for the war and much-needed military supplies.
Iran has provided direct military assistance to Russia. India, has resolutely declined to condemn Russian aggression, but has increased trade with Russia, providing the Russian economy with much-needed cash.
In exchange for North Korean weapons, officials have said, Mr. Kim would like Russia to provide advanced technology for satellites and nuclear-powered submarines, as well as food aid.
The photographs released by North Korean state media on Tuesday showed that Mr. Kim’s entourage included Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui and Marshals Ri Pyong-chol and Pak Jong-chon, the two highest-ranking officials of the North Korean military.