08:11 GMT18 February 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A senior North Korean official known as the country's leader Kim Jong-un’s "butler" has been seen in Vladivostok amid speculations about Kim’s visit to Russia next week, the Fuji News Network (FNN) broadcaster reported on Wednesday.

    Kim Chang-son, Kim’s de facto chief of staff often referred to by media as the "butler" to the North Korean leader, was seen by the FNN reporters inspecting the surroundings of the Vladivostok train station in the afternoon earlier in the day. The media outlet also published a close-up photo of the North Korean official next to the station.

    Kim Chang-son often travels to the locations which the North Korean leader is set to visit in order to iron out logistics. In the run-up to the first and second US-North Korean summits, the official scouted hotels, venues and factory sites in Singapore and Hanoi.

    This comes as the Yonhap news agency reported on Monday, citing a source, that a meeting between Russian President Vladimir 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 take place before or after a forum on China’s Belt and Road Initiative scheduled to take place in Beijing on 26-27 April. Putin is expected to visit the forum.

    READ MORE: North Korea Vows to Continue Military Buildup to Repel Possible Invasion

    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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