A train similar to one used in the past by Kim Jong Un entered China on Saturday evening, possibly carrying the North Korean leader on a multiday journey to Vietnam's capital for his summit with President Donald Trump.
The North Korean leader left Pyongyang by train for his visit to Vietnam on Saturday afternoon, Russia's TASS news agency reported on February 23 citing a North Korean diplomatic source.
While multiple sources reported that the North Korean leader was on board, Pyongyang did not confirm the reports, as Kim's travel schedule remains shrouded in secrecy.
Previously, Vietnam confirmed Kim would visit Vietnam in response to an invitation from Vietnam's President Nguyen Phu Trong, who is also the head of the ruling Communist Party.
Kim and Trump are scheduled to meet for their much-awaited second summit on Wednesday and Thursday in Hanoi.
His train was expected to stop at the Vietnamese border station of Dong Dang, where he will disembark and drive 170 km (105 miles) to Hanoi by vehicle, the sources told Reuters.
It implies Kim may take a train and disembark at the Dong Dang railway station and proceed by auto to Hanoi.
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On Kim's last rail trip in January, he travelled to Beijing with his entourage in an olive-green train emblazoned with a yellow stripe.
According to state officials, Trump spoke to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe via telephone last Wednesday prior to the Vietnam summit with Kim.
Another option for Kim would be to take the train to Beijing and catch a plane to the Vietnamese capital.
Security was tight before the train's arrival in China, with police cordoning off the riverfront about 100 metres from the bridge with tape and metal barriers.
It will be Kim's second face-to-face encounter with Trump following their first meeting in Singapore in June previous year. While North Korea has repeatedly demanded that the United States take corresponding measures, including sanctions relief, Washington has called for more concrete steps from Pyongyang toward denuclearization.
Vietnam had already announced the unprecedented move of closing that 170-kilometre stretch of road on Tuesday between 6:00 am and 2:00 pm - suggesting Kim could travel on the road between those hours.
Travel by train has been a favorite mode of transport for Kim Jong Un, and his father, Kim Jong Il, and grandfather, Kim Il Sung. Officials say the colonial-era Government Guest House in central Hanoi is expected to be the venue of the meeting, with the nearby Metropole Hotel as a backup.