Kim Jong-un’s First Day in Russia: "Extend my Warm Greetings to all of the Russian People!"
Vladivostok is preparing for the Russian-DPRK summit. The leader of North Korea is already in Primorye. He arrived there on his armored train this morning. He's never been to our country, but tomorrow, his negotiations will Vladimir Putin are to begin.
Ksenia Kolchina has the details of the North Korean leader's first day in Russia.
Every detail has to be perfect. The armored train had barely stopped when the guards were already wiping the handrails and doors of the carriage with a snow-white cloth. In the carriage was the leader of the DPRK. The train drove past the carpet, but immediately backed up so that the alignment with the red carpet was picture perfect. Off the meticulously installed ramp, Kim Jong-un stepped onto the platform of the Vladivostok railway station for the first time.
It was expected that he would go to the square in his personal limousine. But no, apparently being in a good mood, Kim Jong-un decided to walk through an ordinary passenger terminal along with the members of the Russian delegation. He is welcomed by a guard of honor and a military orchestra playing the DPRK anthem. Kim Jong-un took off his hat.
Hundreds of journalists descended upon Vladivostok from all over the world in their hunt for a couple of good shots, hoping for an interview. They're from South Korea, Japan, the USA, and Europe. They watch every gesture and catch every detail. During the official meeting, cameras were even installed on the roofs of buildings and the railway bridge. Kim Jong-un's personal cameramen also film his every step. It seems that everything is scripted to the smallest detail, but the excitement is impossible to hide. The event is too momentous. The meeting ceremony wasn't closed. The residents and guests of Vladivostok also filmed history being made before their eyes.
«This is his first time coming to us. He's met with Trump twice and has never visited us».
This is how the train of Kim Jong-un arrived in Russia for the first time today. This is a historic moment. His first stop was at Hasan station, the seaside village where three borders cross; that of China, North Korea, and Russia. Immediately after greeting the officials, the Minister for the Development of the Far East, the Governor of Primorye, and the head of the DPRK came up to two schoolgirls to try some karavai.
Tatiana Fedorenko, schoolgirl: I took a step forward and handed him some karavai, some bread, and some salt. He broke off a piece, his hands shook a little, really. But he broke off a piece, dipped it in salt, and tried it.
— So, he was as nervous as you were?
— Yes, we could see that he was a bit nervous.
— At what distance did you stand from Kim Jong-un?
Natalia Karpova, local deputy: Oh, it was a few inches. About 4-6 inches. The historic meeting took place at the border of three states. The three states of Russia, China, and Korea meet there. Kim Jong-un was the first to put his foot on Hasan soil.
It is here, at Hassan station, that the house of friendship between North Korea and Russia was built. In 1986, it was built for the visit of Kim Il Sung. At the beginning of the 2000s, Kim Jong Il was the guest of honor here. Now, it's the turn of their grandson and son. And, apparently, this won't be his last time being on Hasan soil.
Kim Jong-un: «This isn't my last goodbye».
After the official ceremony in the morning, the train moved on; from Hassan to Vladivostok, covering about 180 miles.
Kim Jong-un's armored train passed through the entire south of Primorsky Krai. The train is moving at a low speed, and the North Korean leader has time to study the surroundings in detail.
There's a Russian locomotive at the head and 12 cars with black tinted windows behind it. The train moves slowly because it's heavier than an ordinary one. It's an armored train. Traveling on such a safe form of transport is also a tradition of the dynasty of North Korean leaders. During the meeting ceremony, the sky over Vladivostok was protected by fighters. Coast Guard boats protected the bay. Along the roads of Vladivostok, the North Korean leader gets around only in his limousine, which is also armored. He's escorted by an entire team of guards wearing identical uniforms along with their traditional pins depicting the leaders of the DPRK. When Kim Jong-un starts to move, they run after his car for several dozen feet. This is a rule.
Tomorrow, there'll be a meeting between Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin. The bilateral summit will be held on Russky Island on the campus of the Far Eastern Federal University. The head of the DPRK decided to stay in Vladivostok for another day after that. He'll be given a tour around his father's favorite places.
Ksenia Kolchina, Pavel Zarubin, Denis Davydov, Sergey Svistilnikov, Vadim Telegin, and Oksana Serzhantova for Vesti.
My colleague Pavel Zarubin, the author and co-host of the program Moscow Kremlin Putin, managed to talk to Kim Jong-un. He became the first and only Russian journalist to whom the North Korean leader gave an interview. Answering his questions, Kim Jong-un noted that he has especially high hopes for the upcoming talks with Vladimir Putin. Here's the exclusive footage.
Kim Jong-un, Supreme Leader of North Korea: «I came to Russia with warm sentiments. And I hope that this visit will be successful and useful. I hope that in the course of the negotiations with Mr. Putin, I'll be able to discuss the issues of the settlement of the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the development of our relations in detail. Extend my warm greetings to all of the Russian people».
Watch the details of Kim Jong-un's first visit to Russia and his negotiations with Vladimir Putin, exclusive footage, and his interview with Pavel Zarubin this Sunday on our channel on the next episode of Moscow Kremlin Putin. It starts at 10 p.m.