Train possibly taking Kim Jong Un to summit enters China

Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry announced Saturday that Kim would pay an official goodwill visit soon

A train similar to one used in the past by Kim Jong Un entered China on Saturday evening, possibly carrying the North Korean leader on a multiday journey to Vietnam’s capital for his summit with President Donald Trump.

An Associated Press reporter saw the green and yellow train cross from North Korea into the Chinese border city of Dandong via a bridge.

Russia’s TASS news agency reported hours earlier that Kim had departed from Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, on his personal train. North Korea’s state media has yet to report on whether Kim has set off for Vietnam. Kim’s overseas travel plans are routinely kept secret.

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

Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry announced Saturday that Kim would pay an official goodwill visit to the country “in the coming days” in response to an invitation by President Nguyen Phu Trong, who is also the general secretary of Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party.

The Trump-Kim meeting is slated for Wednesday and Thursday in Hanoi. Their first summit, last June in Singapore, ended without substantive agreements and triggered a months-long stalemate in negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang as they struggled with the sequencing of North Korea’s nuclear disarmament and the removal of U.S.-led sanctions against the North.

In his upcoming meeting with Trump, experts say Kim will seek a U.S. commitment for improved bilateral relations and partial sanctions relief while trying to minimize any concessions on his nuclear facilities and weapons. While Kim wants to leverage his nuclear and missile program for economic and security benefits, there continue to be doubts on whether he’s ready to fully deal away an arsenal that he may see as his strongest guarantee of survival.

Last year, North Korea suspended its nuclear and long-range missile tests and unilaterally dismantled its nuclear testing ground and parts of a rocket launch facility without the presence of outside experts, but none of those steps were seen as meaningful cutbacks to the North’s weapons capability. While North Korea has repeatedly demanded that the United States take corresponding measures, including sanctions relief, Washington has called for more concrete steps from Pyongyang toward denuclearization.

Hanoi has been gearing up for the summit with beefed-up security. Officials say the colonial-era Government Guest House in central Hanoi is expected to be the venue for the Trump-Kim meeting, with the nearby Metropole Hotel as a backup. Streets around the two places have been beautified with flowers and the flags of North Korea, the U.S and Vietnam.

Workers were also putting final touches on the International Media Center. Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry says some 2,600 members of the foreign press have registered for the event.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has announced a traffic ban along Kim’s possible arrival route.

The Communist Party’s mouthpiece Nhan Dan newspaper late Friday quoted the Department of Roads as saying the ban will first apply to trucks 10 tons or bigger, and vehicles with nine seats or more on the 170-kilometre (105-mile) stretch of Highway One from Dong Dang, the border town with China, to Hanoi from 7 p.m. Monday to 2 p.m. Tuesday, followed by a complete ban Tuesday on all vehicles from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The People’s Committee in Lang Son province, where the Dong Dang railway station is located, issued a statement Friday instructing the road operator to clean the highway stretch and suspend road works, among other things, on Feb. 24-28 as “a political task.”

Dake Kang, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Snowfall warning for Kootenay and Paulson passes

Up to 30 cm expected in mountain passes Saturday and Sunday.

RCMP report

Some of the more interesting callouts for Columbia Valley RCMP November 4-10th

Moose tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in northwest Montana

This is the first time the disease has been detected in the species in Montana

Watching our water footprint

Lake Windermere Ambassadors coordinator walks through water footprint

Films celebrate passionate people and places

Get your tickets now for upcoming Wild & Scenic Film Festival

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

B.C. First Nations drop out of court challenge, sign deals with Trans Mountain

Upper Nicola Band says deal represents a ‘significant step forward’

VIDEO: B.C. man trapped under ATV for days shows promise at Victoria hospital

Out of induced coma, 41-year-old is smiling, squeezing hands and enjoying sunshine

Most Read