September 14, 2023 09:36
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Vostochny Cosmodrome spaceport in Amur Oblast on Wednesday.
Putin, who is notorious for being late to summits, arrived at the spaceport 30 minutes early to greet Kim. He hinted at providing satellite and missile technology to North Korea, while Kim threw himself body and soul behind Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"Now Russia has risen to the sacred fight to protect its sovereignty and security against the hegemonic forces that oppose Russia," Kim said in a flowery address. "We have always expressed full and unconditional support for all the measures taken by the Russian government, and I take this opportunity again to affirm that we will always be with Russia."
"We believe with certainty that the Russian army and people will achieve a great victory in the just fight to punish the evil forces," he added.
Putin took Kim on a tour of the spaceport as Russian experts explained details of the latest rocket technologies, and Kim eagerly asked questions that suggested a considerable amount of knowledge of missiles, taking notes on his memo pad.
Asked if Russia will assist North Korea's development of satellites, Putin said, "That's why we came here," adding, "The leader of [North Korea] shows great interest in rocket technology, they are also trying to develop space."
North Korea's recent attempted satellite launches using rockets that are identical to intercontinental ballistic missiles violate sanctions by the UN Security Council, of which Russia is a permanent member.
The two countries have grown closer due to their international isolation. Putin is in need of an ally after invading Ukraine two years ago and wants North Korea to supply conventional weapons.
Pyongyang also needs support amid a failing economy after years of international sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs and a total border lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.
The two leaders' meeting and talks with their delegations took about two hours, followed by a dinner in Kim's honor. Neither side disclosed any details, but the Kremlin said the two allies will cooperate in "sensitive areas which are not to be discussed in public."
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