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Komsomolsk-on-Amur: Kim Jong Un visits fighter jet plant in Russia as Putin accepts invitation to North Korea | cnn


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un continued his day trip to Russia on Friday, visiting an aircraft plant in the eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, according to Russian state media, after both sides said military cooperation was a possibility.

The facility is the country’s largest aviation manufacturing plant and builds and develops warplanes for the Ministry of Defence, including the Su-35S and Su-57 fighter jets, state media TASS reported.

The images showed Kim and his delegation at the Yuri Gagarin Komsomolsk-on-Amur (KnAAZ) aircraft plant, named after the famous Russian cosmonaut, and they were shown the inside of a fighter jet, according to Russian state media RIA Novosti.

Accompanying Kim on the tour were the city’s mayor, Alexander Zhornik, and the governor of the Khabarovsk region, Mikhail Degtyarev.

The North Korean leader is also expected to travel to the port city of Vladivostok, where he will see the military capabilities of the Russian Pacific Fleet, Russian President Vladimir Putin told state news agency Russia 1.

The tour of key sites in the Russian Far East region came after Putin said Russia is considering and discussing certain military cooperation with North Korea, following a summit in which Kim appeared to endorse Moscow’s war against Ukraine.

Wednesday’s five-hour meeting at the Vostochny cosmodrome signaled closer relations between the two countries, which face international isolation: Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine and Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program.

The Kremlin said Thursday that Putin had accepted Kim’s invitation to visit North Korea and that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov would also visit the country in October, according to spokesman Dmitry Peskov.


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s private train at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur train station in the Russian Far East on September 15.

Asked whether the two leaders discussed military and technical cooperation during the talks, Peskov said it was a “sensitive area of ​​cooperation” and reiterated Moscow’s commitment to further developing ties with Pyongyang.

Efforts to show that closer relationship were evident during the summit. Putin gave Kim a spacesuit glove that had gone into space and a high-quality domestically made carbine (a type of rifle), while Kim also offered Putin a carbine made by North Korean craftsmen, according to Peskov.

At a state banquet with Putin on Wednesday, Kim promised to establish “a new era of 100-year friendship” between the two countries.

In the weeks leading up to the summit, U.S. officials warned that Russia and North Korea were “actively moving forward” on a potential arms deal that could see Pyongyang provide weapons for Moscow to use in its faltering war in Ukraine in exchange for technology. of ballistic missiles authorized.

Putin was asked if he discussed military-technical cooperation with Kim during the leaders’ meeting. In response, Putin acknowledged that certain restrictions existed and said Moscow was fully complying with them. But he also said there were open areas for discussion and consideration, suggesting possible points of cooperation.


Kim Jong Un’s entourage leaves the Komsomolsk train station.

Kim said before a toast at the state dinner with Putin that he is “confident that the Russian people and their military will emerge victorious in the fight to punish the evil forces that ambitiously pursue hegemony and expansion.”

Without naming Ukraine, Kim said that “the Russian army and its people will inherit the brilliant tradition of victory” and prove their reputation on the front lines of the “military operation,” the euphemistic phrase Moscow uses to describe its illegal invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine.

“I will always stand on Russia’s side,” Kim said, praising Moscow for having “stood up to the hegemonic forces” to defend its sovereignty and security, a veiled reference to the United States and the West.

In return, Putin expressed his willingness to help North Korea develop its space and satellite program.

On Thursday, a Ukrainian presidential adviser called the talks “a manifestation of inability” and said Ukraine was “taking the actions of Moscow and Pyongyang very seriously and making its own calculations.”

“Moscow’s need to ask North Korea for help is certainly a joke, a manifestation of Russia’s inability and a verdict on Putin’s 23-year policy,” said Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of the Presidential Office of Ukraine on X. formerly known as Twitter.

Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence said on Wednesday that military cooperation between Russia and North Korea was not new. Ukrainian authorities are already aware of Russian requests for artillery shells and MLRS (multiple launch rocket systems), Defense Intelligence representative Andrii Yusov said in an interview with Ukrainian state media.

“We cannot neglect this. This is an important factor that will unfortunately be felt on the battlefield, but it is nothing new in this situation. This is the scenario in which Ukraine is working,” Yusov reportedly said.

Asked at a briefing about whether North Korean rockets were being supplied to Moscow, an official in South Korea’s presidential office said: “We have long confirmed that Russia used weapons provided by North Korea in the Ukrainian battlefield.

The Biden administration believes North Korea provided rockets and infantry missiles for use by the Russian Wagner mercenary force last year.

Meanwhile, the national security advisers of the United States, South Korea and Japan on Thursday jointly issued a warning about possible violations of international sanctions by North Korea and Russia.

According to a statement issued by South Korea’s presidential office, the three nations said there would be “clear consequences” if either country failed to meet its obligations under United Nations Security Council resolutions and sanctions, particularly those related to arms trade and military use. cooperation.

“The three countries expressed serious concerns about the discussions between the two leaders, which included issues related to military cooperation, including the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), despite repeated warnings from the international community,” the statement said. .

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