Russia shows Kim bombers, hypersonic missiles

(Update 1: Adds visit details, minor edits, changes headline, dateline and lede)

Moscow/Seoul, Sep 16 (EFE).- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was shown strategic bombers and ‘Kinzhal’ hypersonic missiles on Saturday by Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

The viewing took place at Knevichi airfield in Primorye, in Russia’s Far East, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense, where he was greeted by Shoigu and inspected a guard of honor.

He was shown the Tu-160, Tu-95MS and Tu-22M3 nuclear-capable bombers that form part of Russia’s strategic nuclear air forces, the ministry said in a statement.

The Russian military also showed Kim the MiG-31I supersonic interceptor aircraft equipped with ‘Kinzhal’ hypersonic nuclear-capable missiles, and its command system.

Kim and Shoigu then inspected the Marshal Shaposhnikov frigate of Russia’s Pacific fleet in Vladivostok, according to another military statement.

Meanwhile, North Korean state media outlet KCNA on Saturday reported that Kim had been “deeply impressed” during his visit to Russian aircraft factories in Komsomolsk-on-Amur on Friday.

Kim had inspected the military and civil aircraft manufacturing plants and was “deeply impressed by the rich independent potential and modernity of the Russian aircraft manufacturing industry and its ceaseless enterprising efforts toward new goals,” he said at the facilities, according to KCNA.

Kim also expressed “sincere regard for Russia’s aviation technology” and wrote in the visitor’s book that he was “witnessing the rapid development of Russia’s aviation technology and its gigantic potential.”

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov and delegation guided the North Korean leader on his visit, during which he watched a flight demonstration of the Su-35 multirole fighter and boarded a commercial airliner.

On Wednesday Kim and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin held a summit at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, in the Amur region, and although the details have not been made public, Putin said after the meeting that there is room for military and space cooperation between the two countries.

According to media outlets such as The New York Times last week, citing US intelligence sources, Kim could be willing to support Moscow’s war in Ukraine with anti-tank missiles and artillery ammunition, while Pyongyang could receive, in addition to food aid, satellite and nuclear-powered submarine technology.

The United States, South Korea and Japan have insisted this week that an agreement of this nature would be a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions affecting Pyongyang and would have consequences for all countries.

Kim has been traveling in Russia since Sep. 12 but it is not yet known which day the North Korean leader and his delegation will leave the country. EFE


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