North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin recently held a summit to discuss military matters, the war in Ukraine, and possible Russian assistance with Pyongyang’s satellite program. During the summit, Putin showed Kim around Russia’s advanced space rocket launch site and discussed the possibility of sending a North Korean cosmonaut into space. Kim asked detailed questions about rockets during the tour.
Following the tour, Putin and Kim held talks with their ministers and discussed world affairs and potential areas of cooperation. They also enjoyed an opulent lunch of Russian dumplings and sturgeon. During the lunch, Kim raised a toast to Putin’s health, to the victory of “great Russia,” and to Korean-Russian friendship. He predicted victory for Moscow in its “sacred fight” with the West in the Ukraine war.
The two leaders discussed military cooperation, although few details were disclosed. Putin hinted at the possibility of helping North Korea build satellites. US and South Korean officials expressed concern about the potential transfer of weapons and ammunition between Russia and North Korea, but both Moscow and Pyongyang denied any intentions of such actions.
The summit was seen as an opportunity for Russia to undermine US support for Ukraine, but it remains unclear how far Putin is willing to fulfill North Korea’s technology requests. Kim plans to visit military and civilian aviation factories in Russia and inspect Russia’s Pacific fleet in Vladivostok.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is scheduled to visit Pyongyang for further talks next month, and Putin has accepted an invitation to visit North Korea. During the summit, Putin reminded Kim of the Soviet Union’s support for North Korea, calling each other “comrades.”
While Kim was meeting with Putin, North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast. Analysts viewed this as a demonstration of increased delegation and control over the country’s nuclear and missile programs.
Overall, the summit between Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin focused on military and space cooperation, with discussions surrounding potential areas of collaboration between Russia and North Korea.