Kim Jong Un Russia Visit: Kim, Putin meet at Vostochny spaceport in Russia

September 13, 2023
September 13, 2023IANS - Moscow

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin met at the Vostochny spaceport on Wednesday in the Far Eastern Amur Region ahead of their expected summit later in the day, according to media reports.

Russia's state-run TASS News Agency said that while Putin flew to Vostochny from the Primorye Region where he participated in the Eastern Economic Forum, Kim arrived on a train to the spaceport's rail station.

The two leaders then greeted each other

According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, discussions between Kim and Putin at the summit will focus primarily on bilateral cooperation, including trade and economic ties and cultural exchanges.

They will also engage in a comprehensive exchange of opinions about the situation in the region and the international affairs in general, TASS quoted Peskov as saying.

In a video posted on the Kremlin's official Telegram handle, Kim and Putin are seen shaking hands, after which the North Korean leader says: "Thank you for inviting us during your busy schedule," the BBC reported.

Kim also thanked the President for inviting him to Russia.

On his part, Putin told Kim. "I am glad to see you...This is our new cosmodrome" as he introduced to the Vostochny space centre launched in 2016.

In a report, Russian TV said that Putin showed Kim around the facilities at the spaceport .

PrimaMedia reported that the North Korean leader will be shown how the Angara launch vehicle is being assembled.

He and Putin will also inspect the launch complex for the Soyuz-2 launch vehicle, after which they will hold negotiations, the BBC reported.

In reponse to questions from reporters if Russia will help North Korea build satellites, Putin said: "This is why we've come to Vostochny Cosmodrome."

Analysts have predicted that North Korea may agree to supply Russia with ammunition and weaponry for its war in Ukraine, reports Yonhap News Agency.

Moscow, in return, may agree on a weapons-related technology transfer to Pyongyang, such as those involving spy satellites and nuclear-powered submarines.

If Kim and Putin also agree to strengthen their military cooperation, including a three-way naval drill with China, it would pose a major security challenge on the Korean Peninsula and beyond.