North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Russia on Tuesday on a rare visit abroad, where he will meet President Vladimir Putin amid warnings from Washington about a possible arms deal for Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

Video footage published by North Korean media showed Kim, wearing a black uniform, surrounded by military officials, greeting him without smiling from the door of his private, armored train as it left Pyongyang station on Sunday evening.

The official Russian news agency, RIA Novosti, confirmed that Kim’s train had crossed the border and arrived in the Primorsky region, with pictures showing a train with dark green cars pulled by a Russian Railways locomotive.

Kim will meet Putin in the Russian Far East this week, according to RIA Novosti, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The two leaders are likely to meet on the sidelines of the 8th Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, the easternmost city and the closest distance to the border between Russia and North Korea.

Observers believe that Moscow is seeking to obtain artillery shells and anti-tank missiles from North Korea, which in turn is searching for advanced technology for satellites and nuclear-powered submarines.

Senior North Korean military officials, including officials in charge of weapons production and space technology, are accompanying Kim, who departed on a train Sunday afternoon on a visit to the Russian Federation, according to what the official North Korean news agency reported.

North Korea and its leader Kim are among the staunchest supporters of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Western countries, led by the United States, fear that Pyongyang may resort to supplying Russia with missiles and missiles.

Putin in July praised Pyongyang’s steadfast support for special military operations against Ukraine.

However, Moscow and Pyongyang deny supplying North Korea with weapons to Russia, which has exhausted a large amount of its ammunition stocks since its invasion of Ukraine early last year.

Kim hasn’t left North Korea since the outbreak of the Covid.

The North Korean leader’s last visit abroad, in 2019, was also to Russia to meet with Putin.

Russia, a historical ally of Pyongyang, has been a major supporter of the isolated state for decades, and relations between them go back to the founding of North Korea 75 years ago.

On the other hand, the White House warned North Korea this month that it would “pay the price” if it provided Moscow with weapons for its war in Ukraine.

The US State Department said on Monday that the North Korean leader’s upcoming visit to Russia shows the Russian president’s “begging” for help.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters, “By having to travel across his country to meet an internationally outcast person to ask for help in a war he was expected to win in its first month, I can describe this as a plea for help”.

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