We begin this morning with news out of North Korea that their leader Kim Jong-un has departed for Russia. The news comes just hours after the Kremlin confirmed that Kim will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, the 25th, in Russia's Far Eastern city of Vladivostok.
It's also been made official that denuclearization of the Korean peninsula will be on the agenda when the two leaders meet for their first summit ever.
I want to go now to our special correspondent Kim Hyo-sun for more details.
She joins us on the line from Arirang News Center. Hyosun, what do we know thus far?
Hi Connyoung. As you mentioned, we have official details from the Kremlin about the first summit between Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin.
The one-on-one negotiations will take place on Thursday, on an island in Vladivostok.
A Kremlin official explained it will be followed by extended talks between the respective delegations, adding that the two leaders will not sign any agreements or make a joint statement.
Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov also said the North's nuclear issue, including ways to resolve it, would be the main item on the agenda.
He also explained that Putin would try to set the tone for (quote) “achieving serious agreements for settling the problem of the Korean peninsula”.
Ushakov said the summit had not been announced until Tuesday by agreement with Pyeongyang.
But the meeting was hardly a well-kept secret as media reports and photographs of preparations have indicated for days that this summit is imminent.
Ahead of the summit, a flight tracker shows a North Korean plane already departed for Vladivostok Tuesday night. Do we know who was aboard the plane?
It's not yet clear who was aboard the plane which departed from Pyeongyang at around ten p.m. Tuesday, according to Flightradar24.
It is believed to have landed in Vladivostok at around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday local time.
The flight seems to be a special one prepared for the upcoming summit as only two regular flights operate from Pyeongyang to Vladivostok weekly - on Mondays and Fridays.
Watchers say the plane was probably carrying personnel and supplies.
Meanwhile, North Korea's state-run media has confirmed Kim Jong-un departed for Vladivostok early Wednesday morning via his armored train.
The trip is expected to take ten hours or more.
Kim is known to be accompanied by Pyeongyang's top diplomat Ri Yong-ho, First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui as well as O Su-yong, Chairman of the regime's Budget Committee.
They are widely expected to arrive in Vladivostok late Wednesday afternoon, a day before the summit.
Back to you, Connyoung.