Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin will meet in Russia in September, several Western intelligence agencies claim.
To BBC said a spokeswoman for the American Security Council, Adrienne Watson, that a meeting between the two in Russia is expected to take place soon.
The agenda is talks about arms sales from North Korea to Russia’s war in Ukraine. South Korea’s intelligence agency predicts the meeting will take place “soon”.
Unnamed US service personnel New York Time have been interviewed, it is estimated that the meeting will be held this month.
The Russian authorities are silent.
– There is nothing to say, the Russian authorities said in a statement to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
The North Korean dictator is expected to travel in an armored train across the narrow border between North Korea and Russia, American newspapers report.
The meeting of the two heads of state is reportedly planned to take place in Vladivostok, the largest city in Russia’s Far East. The city is located just across the North Korean border.
Armored trains have been the mode of transportation of choice for all three of the Kim dynasty’s dictators. In 2019, Kim Jong-un traveled to Vietnam by armored train, a two-day journey, compared to traveling by plane.
Reportedly, both of his predecessors, grandfather Kim Il-sung and father Kim Jong-il, were afraid to fly. He South Korean newspaper Chosun wrote in 2015 that his two predecessors were shocked when they witnessed their private plane explode in the air in 1982 during a test flight.
This story, like many other details from within this highly secretive regime, has not been independently verified.
Not much is known about the dictator’s luxurious armored train. The dark green train with yellow stripes has been seen several times on dictators’ overseas trips.
The most detailed description of the train comes from former Russian diplomat Konstantin Polikovsky, who in 2001 took part in two train trips with Kim Jong-il in Russia.
The report should not have been published, but was published in a 200-page book the following year – according to New York Time this caused great frustration and annoyance on the part of both the Russian and North Korean authorities.
On the train, the dictator drank French wine, ate a sumptuous meal with silver chopsticks, and was accompanied by a “beautiful female conductor,” as Polikovskij describes in the book.
LA Times states from the book that the Bordeaux and Beaujolais crates – and live lobsters – were flown in from Paris to serve on the ship. His body was allegedly brought back to North Korea.
In 2018, railway expert and historian Peder Figenbaum suggested that the trains might have been built in East Germany.
– There was a focus on safe railroads for heads of state after the Second World War, said Figenbaum.
Kim Jong-un and his two predecessors were not alone in their enthusiasm for luxury armored trains. According to the Documents Center, which is linked to Putin’s nemesis and former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Vladimir Putin also owns an armored train.
Inside the train, this train is claimed to have facilities such as a soundproof beauty salon, fitness center and Turkish bath.
In late July, Putin’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, where Kim Jong-un showed him his newest missile system.
According to the BBC, this is the first visit by a foreign head of state to North Korea since before the coronavirus pandemic.
There have been accusations by some that North Korea supplied Russia with weapons used in Ukraine. Both Russia and North Korea deny this.
The sanctions against Russia give them limited opportunities to import weapons from other countries.
– China can provide support with drones and other materials, but does not do so. Only Iran and North Korea now appear to be supplying weapons to Russia, apart from some material that may have been supplied from Belarus, Russia expert and chief intelligence lecturer, Tom Røseth, told Dagbladet in September last year.
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