September 13, 2023 09:58
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has arrived in Russia and is expected to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday at the Vostochny Cosmodrome spaceport.
The North's state media said Kim arrived in Khasan early Tuesday morning and was welcomed by Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Alexander Kozlov.
Kim also plans to meet with Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Saturday, according to Russian news reports. There are fears that Russia will agree to transfer surveillance satellite technology to North Korea to help it fulfill one of its key ambitions. North Korea failed twice this year to put a spy satellite into orbit around Earth.
Asked if he plans to visit the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Amur Oblast, Putin told reporters at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, "I have a program there. When I get there, you'll know."
The North Korean leader's train also headed to Amur instead of Vladivostok, as originally expected.
A Kremlin spokesman said there will be a summit between the two leaders "if necessary" after discussions between delegations.
He added that a formal banquet will also be held. Kim is then expected to travel to Komsomolsk-on-Amur, an industrial city in Khabarovsk Krai that is home to factories producing the SU-35 fighter jet and naval vessels.
Former North Korean leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il also visited the industrial city in the past.
Kim left Pyongyang aboard his train on Sunday afternoon accompanied by key Workers Party, government and military officials.
They include Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui and top brass including Ri Pyong-chol, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, and Army chief Pak Jong-chon, Cho Chun-ryong, who is in charge of munitions production, Pak Tae-song, who is in charge of spy satellite development, and Kim Myong-sik, in charge of nuclear submarine development.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com