UPDATE - Unplanned N. Korea Flight To Land In Russia Next Tue Amid Possible Kim-Putin Talks Reports


UPDATE - Unplanned N. Korea Flight to Land in Russia Next Tue Amid Possible Kim-Putin Talks Reports

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 17th April, 2019) A previously unscheduled flight from Pyongyang to Vladivostok has appeared in the timetable of the Russian city's international airport for April 23 amid media reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to the Vladivostok International Airport's website, a JS-372 flight of Air Koryo is scheduled to land at the airport on Tuesday, April 23 at 11:50 a.m. local time (GMT 01:50). However, the North Korean airline normally operates its flights to and from Vladivostok only twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays, with the April 23 flight also missing from the airline's own schedule released on its website.

The schedule change came about as the Yonhap news agency reported on Monday, citing a source, that the meeting between Putin and Kim could take place during the Russian president's likely trip to the Far East around April 24.

Another source told the agency that a meeting could happen before or after a forum on China's Belt and Road Initiative scheduled to take place in Beijing on April 26-27.

Putin is expected to visit the forum.

The South Korean KBS tv channel reported it was possible Kim's security service would arrive in Russia on the April 23 flight to prepare for the meeting between Putin and the North Korean leader.

However, an employee of the local Air Koryo office told Sputnik that it was an additional passenger flight. When asked whether Kim's security service officials would be on this flight, Air Koryo employee responded in the negative.

"The company independently decided to launch this flight. This is not a special flight but the usual passenger [flight]. We have not been told what is the reason," a spokesperson for the Vladivostok airport told Sputnik.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that he could not confirm media reports on the prospective meeting between Kim and Putin, although he said that the summit was being prepared.

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