Putin receives Kim at Russia’s new spaceport

Putin and Kim

The two heads of state viewed Russian rocket technology.

(Photo: via REUTERS)

Tsiolkovsky, Seoul According to media reports, Russian President Vladimir Putin received North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Vostochny cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East. The two leaders looked at the launch pad and became familiar with the assembly of an “Angara” launch vehicle, the Interfax news agency said on Wednesday.

Kim assured Russia of support in its fight against the West. Both countries would fight together against imperialism, Kim said. “Russia has risen to a holy struggle to protect its sovereignty and security against the hegemonic forces,” Kim told Putin.

“We will always support the decisions of President Putin and the Russian leadership,” Kim said. “And we will stand together in the fight against imperialism.” He is sure that the meeting is a further step that will raise the relations between the two countries to a new level.

The Vostochny cosmodrome is located in the Amur region, around 100 kilometers from the border with China. Vostochny is considered an addition to the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, which is leased from Moscow. The cosmodrome is intended to reduce Russia’s dependence on Kazakhstan in space travel.

“The leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea shows great interest in rocketry, they are also trying to develop space technology,” said Putin, explaining the chosen meeting point. According to media reports, the North Korean leader asked many questions about the Russian missile program during the tour. Kim was accompanied by a large military delegation.

TV pictures of the meeting

International observers expect Russia and North Korea to also negotiate arms deals.

(Photo: AP)

North Korea has been trying to develop its own nuclear and missile program for years. Meanwhile, Pyongyang says it has carried out several successful nuclear weapons and missile tests.

Putin and Kim are also expected to discuss increasing military cooperation during their meeting. North Korea is considered a potential supplier of weapons and ammunition for Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. In return, Moscow could hand over missile technologies to its neighbor. It is Kim’s first visit to Russia since 2019.

North Korea tests two ballistic missiles

Meanwhile, North Korea fired two ballistic missiles, according to South Korea and Japan. They were launched from the east coast, the South Korean military and the Japanese coast guard said on Wednesday. The tests came just hours before Kim met Putin.

According to South Korean information, these were two short-range missiles. Both flew around 650 kilometers. About five minutes after the first report of the launch, the Japanese coast guard said the projectiles had fallen into the sea. Both missiles fell into the sea outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the government in Tokyo said.

The military in Seoul strongly condemned the renewed rocket launch and called for such tests to be stopped immediately. According to government information, Japan protested against North Korea’s actions through diplomatic channels in Beijing. China is considered the state with the greatest influence on the government in Pyongyang.

All ballistic missile and nuclear weapons activities by North Korea are prohibited by United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions. Such UN resolutions were last passed in 2017 with the support of Russia and China. However, the two states are now calling for sanctions against North Korea to be relaxed in order to initiate diplomatic talks and improve the situation for the people in the impoverished country.

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