North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could make his first ever visit to Russia next week, Yonhap News Agency said Monday. Citing sources in Moscow, Yonhap said, “Chances that Kim Jong Un’s trip to the Russian Federation will take place by the end of April are quite high.”
The summit is likely to take place in the Pacific Port city of Vladivostok, near the borders with China and North Korea.
On April 26-27, Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to participate in the “One Belt, One Road” Forum in China.
The Agency’s source believes that his meeting with the North Korean leader will take place a day or two before or immediately after the event. Russian lawmakers cited by Reuters have previously indicated that there are plans in place for Kim to visit Russia this spring or summer.
Top officials from both countries have met in recent months, fuelling speculation that the rendezvous may be taking place sooner rather than later. Kim Chang Son, who is Kim’s de-facto Chief of Staff, visited Moscow and Vladivostock in March, and Russia’s Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev visited Pyongyang earlier this month, according to Yonhap.
Neither Moscow nor Pyongyang has confirmed that a summit will take place.
Kim previously met twice with U.S. President Donald Trump in June 2018 in Singapore and February this year in Vietnam. The most recent meeting ended without an agreement, with both sides blaming each other. Kim Jong Un also has met with with several world leaders since taking office in 2011, including China’s Xi Jinping, South Korea’s Moon Jae-in, and U.S. President Donald Trump.
Speaking at the North Korean Parliament last week, Kim said he was open to a third summit with Trump.