VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Fresh off his first weighty summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is expected to take a light-hearted tour of the Far East city of Vladivostok on Friday, observers said.
His tour may include visits to the Pacific Fleet at the forefront of the Russian Navy’s defense of the Far East region and the Primorsky Oceanarium on Russky Island, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Pacific port city.
Should he visit the fleet, Kim could lay a wreath at a monument for Russia’s unknown soldiers near the unit and board a warship in a symbolic move likely to recall the Cold War-era brotherhood between Pyongyang and Moscow.
The previous day, Russian honor guard staged a rehearsal for a special welcoming event near the fleet, sources said, reinforcing speculation that the North Korean leader may come.
The Primorsky Oceanarium has been cited as a site that Kim will most likely visit. Its website has announced that it will be closed to the public Friday, while apologizing for “any inconvenience.”
At night, Kim could watch a performance at the Primorsky Stage of the world-renowned Mariinsky Theatre built for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in 2012. At 7 p.m. (local time), the theater is set to stage “Sleeping Beauty.”
The theater announced that there could be restrictions in using its parking lots, sparking speculation about Kim’s possible attendance. Kim Chang-son, the North Korean leader’s protocol chief, has checked facilities there before.
Kim could also visit some factories producing milk, chocolate and bread in the city and on its outskirts.
He is likely to have lunch with Oleg Kozhemyako, governor of Primorsky Krai.
Following the tour, Kim is expected to wrap up his three-day visit to Vladivostok. His train could head home late at night.
During the summit Thursday, Kim sought to build a rapport with Putin while stressing his “firm, unwavering” resolve to strengthen the Pyongyang-Moscow relationship. Putin called for a peaceful resolution of the North’s decades-old nuclear quandary.
Source: Yonhap news Agency