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North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un arrives in Russia for summit with President Putin

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has arrived in Russia, setting the stage for a highly anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The visit has raised concerns in Western nations regarding the potential for increased military cooperation between North Korea and Russia.

According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Kim Jong Un entered Russia on Tuesday, although his exact location at that moment remains undisclosed. Reports indicate that his train, initially bound for Vladivostok, changed course after crossing the Razdolnaya River and headed north. Notably, Kim was expected to participate in the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.

A South Korean news agency shared a photograph claiming to show Kim’s train in Ussuriysk, a city located approximately 40 miles north of Vladivostok. The summit between Putin and Kim is scheduled to take place after the forum, with a lunch held in Kim’s honor, as reported by The Associated Press, citing Dmitry Peskov.

This rare meeting carries significant implications, as Russia seeks ammunition from North Korea to replenish reserves depleted during its involvement in the conflict in Ukraine. In exchange, North Korea is likely to request food, energy supplies, and access to advanced weapons technology, raising concerns about a deepening alliance between the two nations. Furthermore, the summit may put the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles in the spotlight, according to AP.

The relationship between these two isolated nations has experienced fluctuations over the years but appears to be growing closer in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Kim Jong Un’s departure from North Korea’s capital for Russia was reported by the Chosun Ilbo newspaper, citing anonymous South Korean government sources. Accompanying him is Jo Chun Ryong, a ruling party official overseeing munitions policies, according to South Korea’s Unification Ministry.

Notable figures in the accompanying delegation include Pak Thae Song, chairman of North Korea’s space science and technology committee, and Navy Adm. Kim Myor Sik, who has connections to North Korean efforts to acquire spy satellites and nuclear-capable ballistic missile submarines, as reported by The AP.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu is expected to be part of the Russian delegation, further underscoring the significance of this meeting.

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