Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met at the Vostochny Cosmodrome space station in Russia’s Far East. During their meeting, Putin stated that Russia would assist North Korea in launching satellites, while Kim expressed his full support for Russia in its “sacred fight” against the West. The two leaders discussed various issues, including the possibility of North Korea supplying weapons and ammunition to Russia. Putin emphasized North Korea’s interest in rocket engineering and space development.
Kim expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to meet at the space station, referring to it as the heart of Russia’s position as a space superpower. He also pledged his support to Putin in their “fight against imperialism.” This summit between the two countries, both facing international isolation, has caught the attention of the United States and its allies, who are concerned about potential arms and defense technology trade agreements between Russia and North Korea.
The decision to meet at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, a symbol of Russia’s ambitions in space exploration, is significant. North Korea had faced failures in launching reconnaissance satellites in recent months. Kim’s priority is to launch a spy satellite, alongside the development of ballistic missiles, drones, and attack submarines.
Ahead of the meeting, North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast while Kim was absent. This launch demonstrated increased delegation and enhanced control systems for North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
Following the summit, Putin and Kim had lunch and raised a toast to victory against “evil.” While the two countries cooperate in sensitive areas, including military cooperation, the Kremlin emphasized that their ties should not be a cause for concern for other nations.
Kim’s delegation, including the presence of Munitions Industry Department Director Jo Chun Ryong, suggests a focus on defense industry cooperation. Kim could potentially offer artillery rounds from North Korea to replenish Russia’s capabilities in the short term. However, concerns about the quality of the ammunition could limit the overall impact of such a deal.
Russia and North Korea have openly supported each other over the Ukraine conflict, with Putin pledging to further strengthen bilateral ties.