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A Meeting Between North Korea and Russia

On Sep. 4, the New York Times revealed that North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un planned to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin within the month. U.S. officials claimed that Kim would travel from North Korea’s capital Pyongyang via armored train to Vladivostok, Russia. This claim was confirmed on Sep. 11 by South Korean officials, who stated that Kim Jong Un’s armored train was in motion, likely headed to Russia. 

Prior to Sep. 11, the Kremlin refused to confirm claims that Kim Jong Un would be meeting with Putin. Eventually, however, they stated, “At the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, President of the State Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un will make an official visit to Russia in the next few days.” The Korean Central News Agency affirmed this, stating, “Our Dearest Comrade Kim Jong Un will be visiting Russia upon invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin. During the visit he will meet Putin and hold a summit.” 

Kim Jong Un was then seen with Vladimir Putin on Sep. 13, at a cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East region. The visit lasted five days. Kim Jong Un led a delegation composed of Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, Marshals of the Korean People’s Army Ri Pyong Chol and Pak Jong Chon, Minister of National Defence Kang Sun Nam and O Su Yong as well as Pak Thaae Song and other secretaries of the party’s Central Committee.

According to Western media reports, Putin said he would help North Korea develop satellites, seeing as earlier in 2023 they failed to launch a spy satellite. Expressing his deep interest in the Russian military and advanced technology, Kim Jong Un traveled across much of the Far East region during his visit. 

United States officials explained that Putin wants Kim to agree to sending artillery shells and anti-tank missiles to Russia, while Kim wants Russia to provide advanced technology for satellites, nuclear-powered submarines, and food aid to North Korea. White House Spokesman John F. Kirby reported that high-level talks on military cooperation were actively advancing, echoing official claims. Putin has only so far stated publicly that he wished to, “expand bilateral ties in all respects in a planned way by pooling efforts.”

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