Putin accepted an invitation from Kim Jong-un to visit North Korea

A new summit to come between Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un

Putin accepted an invitation from Kim Jong-un to visit North Korea

A new summit to come between Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un. The Russian president agreed to go to North Korea at the invitation of the North Korean dictator, exceptionally traveling to Russia in order to strengthen ties between Moscow and Pyongyang, particularly military ties.

For the moment, however, nothing has been officially communicated concerning a possible agreement for deliveries of military equipment to Russia in order to support its offensive in Ukraine, as mentioned by Washington.

At the end of a meeting on Wednesday, “Kim Jong-un courteously invited Putin to visit the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Editor's note] when it suits him,” the official North Korean agency KCNA reported on Thursday. , using North Korea's official name. “Putin gladly accepted the invitation and reaffirmed his unwavering desire to continue to advance the history and tradition of Russia-DPRK friendship,” the agency further said.

That same day, Kim Jong-un assured Vladimir Putin that Moscow would achieve a “great victory” over its enemies, as Russia had been engaged in a war in Ukraine for more than a year and a half.

The Russian president, for his part, toasted the “future strengthening of cooperation” with Pyongyang, speaking to the press about “prospects” of military cooperation with North Korea despite international sanctions targeting the reclusive country because of its nuclear programs and of its missiles in development.

It was the first meeting of the two leaders since a previous trip by Kim Jong-un to Vladivostok in 2019. After the North Korean leader's arrival in Russia aboard his armored train, Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin visited facilities at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Far East, completed in 2016 and which is expected to eventually replace the historic Baikonur space base.

The two leaders then held approximately two-hour formal discussions with their delegations and one-on-one. Russian Ministers of Defense Sergei Shoigu, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, as well as Industry Minister Denis Manturov participated in the discussions.

According to Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un will also attend a “demonstration” of the Russian navy in the Pacific in Vladivostok – a trip for which he did not specify the timing. The North Korean leader will also visit “civil and military” aeronautical equipment factories in the Far East, the Russian head of state said.

The United States expressed “concern,” saying Russia was interested in purchasing North Korean munitions to support its invasion of Ukraine. “We are obviously concerned about any emerging defense relationship between North Korea and Russia,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.

In Vostochny, Vladimir Putin raised the possibility of Russia helping Pyongyang build satellites, after North Korea recently failed twice to put a military spy satellite into orbit.

“That’s why we came here. North Korea's leader shows great interest in rocket technology. They are trying to develop their space program,” Vladimir Putin said, according to Russian news agencies.

Matthew Miller, a spokesperson for the US State Department, expressed concern that any satellite cooperation would be “in violation of multiple UN resolutions.” The United States “will not hesitate” to impose sanctions if necessary against Pyongyang and Moscow, Matthew Miller warned.