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Kim Jong Un greeted with bread and flowers as he arrives in Russia for Putin meeting

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By Luke Hurst
Kim Jong Un greeted with bread and flowers as he arrives in Russia for Putin meeting
Copyright  REUTERS

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been greeted with gifts after he crossed the border into Russia ahead of a meeting with Vladimir Putin.

After disembarking his armoured train at the Russian border station of Khasan, girls in traditional dress greeted him with flowers, and bread and salt which he sampled.

The young leader will meet Putin in the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok on Thursday, as he attempts to project himself as a serious world player in his first meeting with the Russian president.

The meeting follows the stalling of talks between Kim and U.S. president Donald Trump.

Trump and Kim met in June 2018 - the first ever meeting between a U.S. president and the leader of North Korea - in an historic summit in which both leaders signalled a desire to improve relations.

A second summit between the two, in Hanoi in February 2019, ended without agreement on easing the economic sanctions North Korea was hoping for.

Multilateral sanctions have been in place against the isolated nation for decades due largely to its attempts to develop nuclear weapons and long range missiles.

After greeting Kim Jong Un at the station, officials took him to the Russian-Korean Friendship House, built ahead of a 1986 visit by his late grandfather and state-founder and leader Kim Il Sung who died in 1994.

Read more: Kim Jong Un's quest to ease sanctions against North Korea