February 24, 2019 | 09:48 am GMT+7

North Korea confirms Kim Jong-un on train for Trump summit

North Korea confirms Kim Jong-un on train for Trump summit
A train believed to carry North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is pictured in the Chinese border city of Dandong, China, on February 23, 2019. Photo by Kyodo News via Reuters

Kim Jong-un has taken a train to meet with U.S. President Trump and make his first official visit to Vietnam.

North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Sunday that the North Korean leader left Pyongyang to begin the journey to Vietnam at around 5 p.m. Saturday.

The KCNA said that Kim will take part in the second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, marking the first time the North Korea’s state media agency has mentioned the event.

Kim was 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, the report said.

The state news agency also affirmed that Kim will pay an official visit to Vietnam in response to the invitation of Vietnam’s Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong.

The confirmation came a day after Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry made an official statement on Kim’s first official visit to Vietnam without mentioning specific dates.

North Korea's state-run television KRT also released a video on Sunday showing its leader Kim Jong Un leaving Pyongyang by train for the second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi.

Late last night, there were media reports from international agencies saying a green and yellow train similar to the one used in the past by Kim had crossed into the Chinese border city of Dandong.

NK News quoted an anonymous source as saying that the armored train carrying the North Korean leader had crossed the Yalu River into China at around 9:30 p.m.

Russia’s TASS news agency, citing a North Korean diplomatic source, had reported earlier that Kim had taken a train to Hanoi for his second meeting with the U.S. President.

It could take more than two days for the train to travel thousands of miles through China to Vietnam, it had said.

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.

Trump and Kim will meet face-to-face in Hanoi on Wednesday and Thursday next week, 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.

Anh Ngoc   

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