Thursday, June 20, 2024

Putin, Kim meet at Russia’s space launch facility

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Amur Region in Russia’s Far East on Wednesday.

The president of Russia has personally greeted the leader of North Korea at Vostochny Cosmodrome, according to a video of their handshake shared by the Kremlin on Wednesday.

Putin arrived at Vostochny following a two-day visit to the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. The North Korean leader traveled to the facility onboard his armored train, after crossing into Russian territory on Tuesday morning.

“I am very glad to see and welcome you again in Russia. This time, as we agreed, at the Vostochny Cosmodrome,” Putin said while seated alongside Kim.

“Of course, we need to talk about issues of economic cooperation, humanitarian issues, and the situation in the region. We have a lot of questions [to discuss].”

Kim thanked Putin for his invite to the country and said the two countries have “many issues” that they can cooperate on.

“As you said, the agenda between our countries, including the political, economic, and cultural issues; and there are many issues that our two countries need to cooperate and for us to receive help on in our war of independence as the people of our countries anticipate,” Kim stated.

“In this situation, I believe this moment will serve to raise our bilateral relations to the next step, to a new height,” Kim added.

The North Korean leader went on tell Putin it was an honor the meeting was being held “at this special place, a space launch site which is like the heart of the space power, which your country has the status of, and giving this opportunity for us to have a deeper understanding of space power’s today and tomorrow.”

Kim also praised Russia for having “stood up against the hegemonic forces” to defend its sovereignty and security, a veiled reference to the US and the West, and said he has expressed “the full and unconditional support to all that Russia does in response.”

“And that in the frontline of anti-imperialism and independence, I will always be standing with Russia, I’m using this opportunity to make it clear,” the North Korean leader continued.

Footage from Russia also shows Kim’s sister Kim Yo Jong standing alongside him at the Vostochny Cosmodrome space center in Russia.

Commenting on the agenda of the Russian-North Korean summit, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said the upcoming talks are set to focus on a number of “sensitive issues,” as well as bilateral economic and cultural cooperation, and the overall situation in the region.

The Kremlin spokesman added the negotiations would be held both with Russian and North Korean delegations present and in a one-on-one format.

Ahead of the meeting, US officials warned that a potential arms deal could see Pyongyang provide weapons for Moscow to use in the war against Ukraine.

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