Room for military cooperation with North Korea, Putin says after Kim meeting

Moscow, Sep 13 (EFE).- There is potential for military and space cooperation between Moscow and Pyongyang, Russian president Vladimir Putin said Wednesday after meeting with the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un.

Putin and Kim were meeting at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, in Russia’s Far East, amid reports in Western media that Russia wants North Korea to sell it weapons and ammunition to use in its war in Ukraine, which would go against international sanctions against Pyongyang over its nuclear missiles program.

“Russia complies with all these restrictions, but there are things about which, of course, we can talk (…). Here, too, there are possibilities,” Putin told Russia-1 public television.

Putin stressed that the two countries have “interesting projects” in the pipeline in rail and road transport, and port infrastructure, as well as in agricultural development.

“We also provide humanitarian assistance to the country, but apart from humanitarian assistance there is a possibility to simply work on equal terms,” Putin said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed that Moscow has raised with North Korea the possibility of “cooperation on space projects”, as well as “in all other areas.”

“Russia will continue to remain a responsible member of the United Nations, a permanent member of the (United Nations) Security Council and also the closest neighbor of the (North Korea). And it will develop relations in all areas,” he noted.

Putin and Kim met at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Siberian Amur region, where the North Korean leader showed “great interest in rockets,” according to the Kremlin chief.

During their meeting, Kim said Pyongyang fully supports the Kremlin’s decisions, framing the ongoing war in similar terms that the Russian leader has used since launching the invasion in February 2022.

“Russia has now risen up in a holy struggle to defend its sovereignty and security (…) We have always supported and continue to support all of President Putin’s decisions,” Kim said at the beginning of their talks.

“I hope we will always be together in the fight against imperialism,” Kim said, adding that relations with Moscow are currently Pyongyang’s “highest priority.”

According to The New York Times and other Western media, Putin wants North Korea to sell Russia artillery ammunition and anti-tank missiles for the war in Ukraine, while Pyongyang is seeking advanced technology for the manufacture of satellites and nuclear-powered submarines, as well as oil production and food aid.

Pyongyang has carried out two failed launches of military reconnaissance satellites this year and in October is expected to make another attempt.

Hours before Wednesday’s summit, North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM) into the Sea of Japan (known by Koreans as the East Sea).

The US has reminded both countries that any transfer of weapons from North Korea to Russia would violate multiple UN Security Council resolutions.

“We will continue to enforce those sanctions and will not hesitate to impose new sanctions appropriately,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters this week.

After meeting with Putin, Kim will continue his state trip to Russia, visiting aircraft factories in Komsomolsk Amur and military facilities in Vladivostok.

“The (North Korean) leader has a big program ahead of him. From here he will fly to Komsomolsk Amur, visit factories where both civilian and military aircraft are produced,” Putin said. EFE


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