A video of Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un outside the Vostochny Cosmodrome in eastern Russia shows two smiling presidents supposedly happy to see each other:
– I’m glad to see you, Putin said to Kim, before they shook hands for more than half a minute.
According to Russian media, Putin says the reason for the visit is to help North Korea build satellites:
– That’s why we came here (to the space center, editor’s note). The North Korean leader shows great interest in missile technology. They are trying to develop their space program.
Kim, for his part, is said to have said, through a translator, that the two countries will “fight against imperialism together”:
– He says, according to Reuters: – I support your holy jihad against the West.
Arms show in July
On Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s armored train entered Russia’s Primorsky Oblast. The area borders North Korea, and is all the way east in Russia.
They last met in 2019. They then met in Russia, on Kim’s first official visit to the country.
In July this year, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was invited to visit North Korea.
This was the first time Kim opened the country’s doors to foreign guests since the Covid pandemic.
Shojo was taken to an arms exhibition, North Korea’s official news agency reported Korean Central News Agency The two sides discussed “expanding and developing military friendship and cooperation between armies.”
After the visit, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that Shoigu tried to “persuade Pyongyang to sell artillery ammunition” to Russia.
US authorities had previously said that arms negotiations between Russia and North Korea were “progressing.”
American media: Russia wants weapons
The two leaders are expected to discuss the possibility of North Korea supplying Russia with more weapons that could be used in the war in Ukraine.
According to American sources, Putin wants Kim to send artillery shells and anti-tank missiles to Russia. In return, North Korea will receive advanced technology for satellites and nuclear submarines. North Korea recently launched two failed satellites, according to the South Korean Yonhap News Agency BBC.
On the way to the space center today, where Putin and Kim will hold a closed-door meeting, the two were reportedly asked if they would like to discuss weapons supplies.
Putin replies that they will discuss “all issues.” As reported by the Russian state news agency, Reuters.
Researcher and author Ankit Panda, among others, has written a book on Kim Jong Un and is an expert on the Asia-Pacific region and nuclear strategy.
He realizes that Russia and North Korea have things that the other country wants.
He told the BBC: “It will be crucial if both sides can find the right prices they are willing to pay – to get help from the other side.”
He says Russia may ask North Korea for conventional weapons, including artillery shells and rocket artillery ammunition, in exchange for food, raw materials, and more support in international forums such as the United Nations.
A missile launched from North Korea
At the same time that Kim was in Russia speaking with Putin, South Korean and Japanese news agencies reported that North Korea fired short-range missiles from an area near the capital, Pyongyang. This must have fallen into the Sea of Japan, Reuters reports.
North Korea has conducted such test fires on several occasions in recent months.
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