North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will visit Russia for a summit with President Vladimir Putin, North Korean state media said on Tuesday, and a Russian news report said the leaders will meet on April 25 in Vladivostok.
The visit is part of Kim’s effort to build up foreign support for his economic development plans, analysts said, after the breakdown of a second U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi in February led to stalled talks with Washington on the sanctions relief sought by Pyongyang.
The North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the visit will happen “soon,” but did not elaborate on the time or location.
Russia’s Kommersant newspaper reported on Tuesday that the visit was scheduled for April 25 in Vladivostok. The newspaper cited two sources close to the process of preparing the visit.
There was no immediate comment on the report from the Kremlin, but spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that Putin and Kim are on track to meet by the end of April.
Kim Jong-un’s chief aide, Kim Chang Son, was seen in Vladivostok on Sunday, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.
After the failed Hanoi summit, Kim is probably looking to prove that he is still sought after by world leaders, and that he has more options, said Artyom Lukin, a professor at Far Eastern Federal University.
“Kim does not want to look too dependent on Washington, Beijing and Seoul,” he said.
“As for Russia, the Putin-Kim summit will reaffirm Moscow’s place as a major player on the Korean Peninsula. This meeting is important for Russian international prestige.”
WATCH | North Korea vs. South Korea: Why has the peninsula been divided?
This story originally appeared on CBC