North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a rare summit meeting to discuss military matters, the war in Ukraine, and potential Russian assistance for North Korea’s satellite program. During the summit, Putin showed Kim around Russia’s advanced space rocket launch site, the Vostochny Cosmodrome, and talked about the possibility of sending a North Korean cosmonaut into space.
After the tour, the two leaders, accompanied by their ministers, engaged in several hours of talks, covering topics such as world affairs and potential areas of cooperation. They then enjoyed a lavish lunch featuring Russian “pelmeni” dumplings and sturgeon with mushrooms and potatoes.
Kim raised a toast to Putin’s health and predicted victory for Russia in its conflict with the West in the Ukraine war. Both leaders called each other “comrades” and emphasized the historical ties between the two countries.
While details about military cooperation were not disclosed, Putin hinted that it was discussed during the meeting. He also mentioned that Kim planned to visit military and civilian aviation factories in Russia and inspect the Pacific fleet in Vladivostok. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is set to visit Pyongyang for further talks next month.
The summit raised concerns among U.S. and South Korean officials, who worried that North Korea might provide weapons and ammunition to Russia. However, both Moscow and Pyongyang have denied any such intentions. The United States warned of imposing further sanctions if weapons transfers were made between the two countries, as it would violate UN Security Council resolutions.
In addition to military matters, the summit provided an opportunity for Russia to challenge the United States, which has been a major supporter of Ukraine. However, it remains unclear to what extent Putin would fulfill North Korea’s technology requests.
During Kim’s visit, North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast, marking the first such launch while Kim was abroad. Analysts interpret this as a demonstration of increased delegation and improved control systems for North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
In conclusion, the summit between Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin focused on military matters, cooperation, and the potential exploration of joint projects. The meeting also highlighted the historical ties between Russia and North Korea, while raising concerns among other countries regarding military transfers and the violation of UN sanctions.