Kim says Russia visit shows bilateral ties ‘strategic importance’

Seoul, Sep 13 (EFE).- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said his visit to Russia shows the “strategic importance” of the ties between the countries, the regime’s state media reported Wednesday

Kim is scheduled to meet President Vladimir Putin to negotiate a possible agreement to exchange weapons and related technologies.

“Kim Jong-un said that his visit to the Russian Federation, his first foreign visit after the global public health crisis, is a clear manifestation of the will of the Workers’ Party of Korea and the government of (North Korea) to prioritize the strategic importance of relations between (North Korea) and Russia,” state news agency KCNA reported.

The agency said Kim made the comment during his stop at the Khasan station, the first Russian stop when crossing from North Korea.

Kim’s train and his entourage arrived in Khasan at 6:00 a.m. local time Tuesday (20:00 GMT on Monday), KCNA said, where they were welcomed with a red carpet, an honor guard and a military orchestra, and the presence, among other authorities, of Russian Natural Resources Minister Alexandr Kozlov.

KCNA said Kim “departed for his destination receiving a warm farewell from Russian officials.”

The leader’s convoy was later seen hours later in Ussuriysk, about 74 kilometers from Vladivostok, where many had anticipated the summit with Putin would take place.

Kim’s whereabouts and his delegation have been lost, in which the Defense and Foreign Ministers travel, as well as senior military officials, including the director of the Industrial Department of Munitions, and also the Secretary for Science and Education of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party, which is linked to the North Korean space program.

It is believed that the meeting between the two leaders could take place at the Vostochny cosmodrome, about 1,500 kilometers north of Vladivostok in the Amur region (Siberia).

The Kremlin has said bilateral cooperation or trade ties will be on the agenda, as well as “sensitive issues” that will not be shared publicly, which is interpreted as confirmation that the two leaders will discuss military exchanges. EFE


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