February 25, 2019 | 04:59 pm PT

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrives in Vietnam to warm welcome

The armored train carrying Kim Jong-un and his entourage reaches Dong Dang station in Lang Son Province Tuesday morning after a long trip of 4,500 km.

  • Minister, Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung said Kim Jong-un was all smiles as he greeted him with a handshake.

    "We are very happy. Thank Vietnam very much," Dung said of what Kim told him.


    Minister, Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung (L), greets North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at Dong Dang railway station. Photo by Nhat Bac

  • 8h30

    Guards run after Kim Jong-un's car as it leaves Dong Dang railway station for Hanoi. Photo by Huu Khoa

    Kim Jong-un car leaves for Hanoi. Video by Viet Tuan

  • 8h29

    Around 10 guards surround Kim's car as it leaves Lang Son.


    The North Korea delegation leaves Dong Dang station for Hanoi, with two cars carrying no number plates. Photos by Gia Chinh

  • 8h26

    Kim Jong-un waves as he leaves Dong Dang in a car. Photo by Giang Huy

  • 8h26

    Security agents stand guard outside the station. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa

  • 8h24

    Kim Jong-un waves to the crowd at Dong Dang railway station. Photo by Giang Huy

  • 8h22

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is in Vietnam


    Kim Jong-un steps down from his train at Dong Dang railway station in Lang Son Province. Photo by Huu Khoa


    Kim Jong-un is greeted by Vo Van Thuong, Secretary of Vietnam's Party Central Committee. Photo by Huu Khoa


    A warm welcome. Photo by Giang Huy

  • 8h15
    The armored train carrying Kim Jong-un arrives at Dong Dang railway station.

    More than 60 years ago in late 1958, his grandfather Kim Il-sung also visited Hanoi on an armored train, which had its own conference rooms, bedrooms and acted as a mobile office. It had between 17 and 21 cars and a maximum speed of 60 kph. It also had a small helicopter for emergencies.


    Kim Jong-un's S600 Pullman Guard car is parked at the entrance of Dong Dang railway station. Photo by Viet Tuan

  • 7h30

    Two toll stations on National Highway 1A connecting Hanoi and Lang Son Province, home to the railway station, will be closed between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. Photo by Duc Tuan

  • 7h25
    Dong Dang border station

    Kim Chang-son, chief secretary of the Secretariat of the State Affairs Commission of North Korea, and security agents of North Korea at Dong Dang station. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy


    North Korean security agents at Dong Dang railway station. Photo by Giang Huy

Kim is scheduled to be in Vietnam for his official first visit to the country and the second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi.

He will be accompanied by Kim Yong-chol, who has been a key negotiator in talks with the U.S., and Kim Yo Jong, the leader’s sister.

North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) had confirmed Sunday that Kim Jong-un had boarded a train from Pyongyang to begin the journey to Vietnam on Saturday.

Over the past days, security has been tightened to the highest level at the railway station on the Chinese border which is now closed to welcome the North Korean leader’s arrival.

Trump and Kim will meet face-to-face in Hanoi on Wednesday and Thursday, eight months after their historic summit in Singapore in June, the first between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader, at which they pledged to work towards denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry announced Saturday that Kim Jong-un will pay an official visit to Vietnam in the coming days at the invitation of Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong.