‘Kim Jong Un visiting at Putin’s invitation’, Russia confirms

Kim aims to strike technology and food deals with Russia in exchange for arms

Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin (File) Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shake hands during their meeting in Vladivostok, Russia in 2019 | AP

Moscow on Monday confirmed that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is making an official visit to Russia on President Vladimir Putin’s invitation. Reportedly, the leaders would meet in the Russian port city of Vladivostok.

Kremlin said, “At the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, President of the State Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un will make an official visit to Russia in the next few days.” However, South Korean media reported that Kim had already departed on a train to Russia.

The train likely left the North Korean capital of Pyongyang on Sunday evening and Kim-Putin meeting is possible as early as Tuesday, The Guardian reported. Kim last visited Russia in 2019, at Vladivostok, for their first talks ever. 

Reportedly, Russia aims to procure military equipment from North Korea in exchange for technology and food aid. United States’ National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said recently that Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu travelled to Pyongyang last month and tried to persuade North Korea to sell artillery ammunition to Russia.

Russia is seeking to procure artillery shells and antitank missiles from North Korea. Meanwhile, the North Korean leader is hoping Moscow will provide them with technology for satellites and nuclear-powered submarines. Kim is also reportedly trying to strike a food deal with Russia following reports of chronic food shortages and malnutrition among children in North Korea. 

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