After a nearly week-long media visit to Russia, Kim Jong Un expressed his “sincere thanks” to Russian President Vladimir Putin, state media reported Monday. The North Korean leader’s trip to the Russian Far East, which ended on Sunday, revealed potential military ties between the two countries.
Kim Jong Un reviewed a number of equipment such as Russian space rockets and submarines. The two men went so far as to symbolically offer each other a rifle. The trip also revived Western fears that the isolated, nuclear-armed country could provide Moscow with weapons for its attack on Ukraine.
A “new chapter” between Moscow and Pyongyang
At the end of this visit, which began on Tuesday, Kim Jong Un “presented his sincere thanks to President Putin and the Russian leaders” for “their special attention and cordial hospitality,” the official North agency said on Monday. -Korean KCNA. He also wished “prosperity to Russia and well-being to its people”.
The trip was marked by a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday at the Vostochny cosmodrome, nearly 8,000 km east of Moscow. This visit to Russia “will shine in history for a long time,” according to KCNA, and will further consolidate the “militant unity” of the two countries while “opening a new chapter” in their relations.
For its part, the Kremlin assures that “no agreement” was signed this week. Vladimir Putin accepted an invitation from Kim Jong-un to visit North Korea and discussed possible aid in the manufacture of satellites. Before leaving Vladivostok on Sunday, the North Korean leader received five explosive drones as a gift from the regional governor, as well as a reconnaissance drone and a bulletproof vest, according to the TASS agency.
On board his train, Kim Jong-un is “on his way home, having given a radical new turn to the history of the development of relations between the DPRK and Russia”, according to the KCNA, in reference to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea.
Westerners suspect Moscow of wanting to buy weapons from Pyongyang for the conflict in Ukraine, while North Korea is, for its part, suspected of wanting to acquire Russian technologies for its satellite, nuclear and ballistic programs.