Kim Jong Un rolls into Russia via train ahead of meeting with Vladimir Putin

Kim Jong Un may be about to meet Vladimir Putin at a Russian spaceport - ITV News Asia Correspondent Debi Edward has this report

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has rolled into Russia on an armoured train ahead of his meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

Kim's personal train stopped in Khasan, a station on the Russia-North Korea border, where it was met by a military honour guard and a brass band.

He was met on a red carpet by regional Governor Oleg Kozhemyako and Natural Resources Minister Alexander Kozlov.

Some Russian news media speculate he is headed for the Vostochny spaceport, which Putin is to visit soon.

The launch facility is about 900 kilometers (550 miles) northwest of Ussuriysk, but the route there is circuitous and it is unclear how long Kim's slow-moving train would take to reach it.

The leader pictured stepping off his armored train. Credit: AP

Kim is expected to seek economic aid and military technology for his impoverished country, and appears to have something Putin desperately needs: munitions for Russia's grueling war in Ukraine.

It is a rare encounter between isolated leaders driven together by their need for support in escalating standoffs with the West.

It's a chance for the North Korean leader to get around crippling UN sanctions and years of diplomatic isolation.

For Putin, it’s an opportunity to refill ammunition stores that the war has drained.

Any arms deal with North Korea would violate the sanctions, which Russia supported in the past.

Kim's red carpet arrival in Russia. Credit: AP

The United States has accused North Korea of arming Russia in the conflict, including the mercenary group Wagner. Both countries have denied the claims.

Jon Finer, chief deputy national security adviser to US President Joe Biden, told reporters on Sunday that buying weapons from North Korea "may be the best and may be the only option" open to Moscow as it tries to keep its war effort going.

He said: "We have serious concerns about the prospect of North Korea potentially selling weapons, additional weapons, to the Russian military.

"It is interesting to reflect for a minute on what it says that when Russia goes around the world looking for partners that can help it, it lands on North Korea."

Speculation about North Korea and Russia's military cooperation has grown since the former's Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu, visited North Korea in July.

During the trip, Shoigu was invited to an arms exhibition and military parade, where Kim showcased the North's range of weapons.

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