The two leaders have never previously met and the landmark discussions have seen Kim have an audience with another influential world leader after his failed denuclearisation summit with US President Donald Trump earlier this year. Korean Central News Agency has reported that Kim departed for Russia on Wednesday morning by private train. The pair will then meet on Thursday in the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok.
Reports suggest the talks will centre around the international standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear programme.
Previously talks were held between Kim and Trump.
They broke down after the meeting in Hanoi, with Washington disagreeing on sanctions relief in Pyongyang.
After the talks stalled in February this year with Trump, Kim wants to prove he is still sought after with other foreign leaders.
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Artyom Lukin, a professor at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, Russia, said: “Kim does not want to look too dependent on Washington, Beijing and Seoul.
“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.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “The contacts have been ongoing through diplomatic channels.”
In recent months Kim has broken down numerous barriers with those who were considered enemies in recent times.
Meetings with the likes of South Korean president Moon Jae-in and China’s president Xi Jinping have seen a thawing of global opinion of North Korea.
Last month, the Russian diplomat said Trump was a “clown” following his Vietnam summit in which he met with Kim.
Trump failed to win concessions from Kim over scrapping nuclear weapons during this week’s Hanoi summit.