North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived by train at the Russian border city of Khasan on Wednesday en route to the Far Eastern city of Vladivostok for a much-anticipated summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian media reported.
Kim's special train crossed the Russia-North Korea border at 10:40 a.m. (local time) over a bridge crossing the Tumen River and reached the Khasan station, Russian news service RIA Novosti said, citing a provincial government source.
Upon arrival, he received bread, salt and a flower bouquet in a symbolic welcome ceremony.
Following the welcoming event there, Kim will take another hourslong train trip to Vladivostok, where his first meeting with the Russian president since he took power in late 2011 is set to take place Thursday.
The North's official Korean Central News Agency reported that the North Korean leader left for Russia earlier in the day. It did not elaborate on from where his train departed.
The Kremlin confirmed Tuesday that the summit will be held in Vladivostok on Thursday. It stressed that Russia would become the first country that Kim visits after his recent re-election as the chairman of the State Affairs Commission, the country's highest administrative apparatus.
The Putin-Kim meeting is expected to take place at the Far Eastern Federal University as Kim's security and protocol staffers were spotted making final summit preparations with the national flags of Russia and the North hung on campus light poles.
The summit agenda is expected to center on peace efforts on the divided peninsula, economic cooperation and bilateral ties.
The Vladivostok summit will be the first one between the leaders of the two countries in eight years, after Kim's late father and former leader, Kim Jong-il, met then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2011. (Yonhap)