Kim is expected to seek economic aid and military technology for his impoverished country, and, in an unusual twist, appears to have something Putin desperately needs: munitions for Russia's grueling war in Ukraine.
This meeting is a chance for the North Korean leader to get around crippling U.N. 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.
North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said Kim boarded his personal train bound for Russia on Sunday afternoon, accompanied by members of the ruling party, government and military.
His final destination is uncertain. Many had assumed Kim and Putin would meet in Vladisvostok, a Russian city close to the border where the two leaders had their last meeting in 2019, and which Putin is visiting this week for an economic forum.