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N.K. leader's Russia visit may involve tours to art theater, fleet headquarters: report

North Korea 11:08 April 22, 2019

TOKYO, April 22 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un could visit the world-renowned Mariinsky Ballet theater or a Russian Navy fleet headquarters during his widely expected trip to Vladivostok this week for a summit with President Vladimir Putin, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported on Monday.

According to the Kremlin, Kim will visit Russia later this month for talks with Putin.

Though no details have been made public, widespread indications are that Kim will make a three-day visit to Vladivostok, with the summit to take place around Thursday. Putin is expected to meet with Kim en route to China for an international conference.

Citing government sources, Kyodo reported that Kim Chang-son, leader Kim's protocol chief, has toured several facilities in Vladivostok, including the Mariinsky Theatre, a public aquarium and Russia's Pacific Fleet headquarters.

The protocol chief was seen visiting the Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok on Sunday, apparently as part of preparations for the summit.

Earlier, the Japanese news agency reported that the North Korean leader appears set to use his special train to travel to the city Wednesday and attend a banquet with Putin on Russky Island later in the day.

After the summit the following day, Kim could meet with North Korean students or researchers residing there or visit major tourist spots in the country before heading home Friday, it added.

Should the summit with Putin be held, it will be the North Korean leader's first diplomatic activity since his Hanoi summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in February, where the two leaders failed to produce any tangible results on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Kim Chang-son (L), the protocol chief for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, walks to a vehicle at the Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, Russia, on April 21, 2019, amid speculation that Pyongyang will hold a summit with Moscow in the port city. (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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