(LEAD) N. Korean leader’s train apparently en route to Russia’s Khabarovsk after summit with Putin

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s special train appears to be moving toward Russia’s Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk on Thursday, a day after his rare summit with President Vladimir Putin, according to sources.

According to the sources, Kim’s olive green, bullet-proof train appears headed toward the Russian city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, where he will visit an aircraft factory, following his meeting with Putin held Wednesday at the Vostochny spaceport where he pledged full support for Russia.

Putin earlier told a Russian media outlet that Kim will fly to Komsomolsk-on-Amur to visit an aircraft plant and travel to Vladivostok to view Russia’s Pacific Fleet after the summit.

But Kim appears to have taken his train to Komsomolsk-on-Amur, some 1,170 kilometers east of the space center.

Kim is expected to arrive in the Russian city late Thursday and stop by an aircraft plant that manufactures Sukhoi fighter jets the following day, according to the sources.

Wednesday’s summit marked Kim’s first meeting with Putin since his visit to Vladivostok in April 2019.

South Korean and U.S. officials have expressed concerns over the meeting and a possible arms deal between the two countries that could assist Moscow’s war efforts in Ukraine.

During the summit, Kim invited Putin to visit his country, and the Russian president accepted the offer, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

“Putin accepted the invitation with pleasure and reaffirmed his will to invariably carry forward the history and tradition of the Russia-DPRK friendship,” the North’s official news agency said earlier in the day.

DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North’s official name.

Later in the day, the Kremlin confirmed Kim’s offer has been accepted by Putin.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reportedly said Kim made the invitation in the one-on-one meeting with Putin, the Russian president thankfully accepted the proposal.

All agreements involving Putin’s visit to Pyongyang will be made through diplomatic channels, he said, adding Kim’s trip to Russia will continue for a couple of days.

Source: Yonhap News Agency