North Korea’s Kim Jong-un arrives in Vietnam from China

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrives at the Dong Dang railway stationImage copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Mr Kim arrived by train at the border station of Dong Dang

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has arrived in Vietnam for a summit with US President Donald Trump later this week.

The second US-North Korea summit follows a historic first round of talks last year in Singapore.

Mr Kim’s green and yellow train pulled into Dong Dang station, and he has already begun the final leg of his journey to Hanoi by car.

Ceremonial guards and flag-waving crowds lined a red carpet laid out for him at the station.

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Flags and a red carpet greeted Mr Kim as he disembarked his train

Security guards, officials and cameramen crowded Mr Kim and his party as they disembarked from the train and were ushered into a waiting car.

Mr Kim then paused in front of the crowds for a brief moment, sticking his hand out of his limousine window to wave.

His trademark team of black-suited bodyguards were waiting for him at the station, and as his car pulled away they briefly ran alongside it.

He is thought to be travelling with his sister Kim Yo-jong and one of his key negotiators, former General Kim Yong-chol.

Why did Mr Kim take a train to Vietnam?

The journey from Pyongyang to Vietnam took more than two days and traversed about 4000 km (2485 miles). Had Mr Kim chosen to fly to Vietnam he would have got there in a matter of hours.

As Mr Kim’s train passed through China, roads were closed and train stations shut down. Chinese social media was abuzz with road closures, traffic congestion and delayed trains.

Vietnam’s Dong Dang station was also closed to the public ahead of his arrival on Tuesday morning. He is now being driven around 170km (105mi) to Hanoi by car.

It’s little surprise that Mr Kim chose to take the train as this is how his grandfather, North Korea’s first leader Kim ll-sung, travelled when he went to Vietnam and Eastern Europe.

That alone would have made it a highly symbolic move for the younger Mr Kim.

Mr Kim’s private green and yellow train has 21 bulletproof carriages and is luxurious, with plush pink leather sofas and conference rooms so the journey would not have been unduly uncomfortable.

What will Trump and Kim do in Vietnam?

Mr Trump is scheduled to arrive later on Tuesday and details of their schedule are only just becoming clear.

Mr Trump will meet Mr Kim for a brief one-on-one conversation on Wednesday evening and then they will have dinner together with their advisors, according to White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders. On Thursday, the leaders will meet for a series of back-and-forth meetings.

  • Why Kim will be looking closely at Vietnam
  • Trump and Kim in Hanoi: Your need-to-know guide

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also arrived in Hanoi on Tuesday.

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