Updated with Peskov's remarks about Sergei Shoigu.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s armored train has crossed into Russia ahead of a rare and closely watched summit with President Vladimir Putin, Russian media reported Tuesday.
Kim left Pyongyang accompanied by military, government and ruling party officials on Sunday afternoon, according to North Korean state media, his first visit abroad in more than four years.
Live footage on Russian state television showed the dark green train pulled by a Russian Railways locomotive crossing into Far East Russia’s Primorye region “in absolute secrecy,” Interfax reported Tuesday.
Vesti Primorye reported that Kim could meet Putin at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Amur region on Wednesday, citing heavy security and media presence at a nearby airport.
Experts say Moscow likely seeks artillery shells and antitank missiles from North Korea, which in return could ask for food aid, as well as advanced satellite and nuclear-powered submarine technology.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian media that the two leaders would be joined by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu during their talks to discuss "sensitive" subjects.
"Obviously, as neighbors, our countries also cooperate in sensitive areas that should not be the subject of public disclosure and announcements. This is perfectly normal for neighboring states," he said.
Both leaders would ignore U.S. “warnings" over the talks, Peskov told reporters.
Washington has said North Korea would "pay a price" if it supplies Moscow with weapons for the war in Ukraine.
"In building our relations with our neighbors, including North Korea, the important thing for us is the interests of our two countries, not Washington's warnings," Peskov added.
Putin is currently in Vladivostok for an annual economic forum.
AFP contributed reporting