North Korea’s Kim to meet Putin in Russia to talk weapons supply: NYT

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un plans to travel to Russia this month to discuss with President Vladimir Putin the possibility of supplying Moscow with more weapons for its war in Ukraine as well as other military cooperation, The New York Times reported Monday citing American and allied officials.

Kim, who rarely travels outside his country, would travel from Pyongyang, probably by armored train, to Vladivostok for the meeting, the officials reportedly said.

The two leaders would be on the campus of Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok to attend the Eastern Economic Forum, scheduled from Sept. 10 to 13. Kim also plans to visit Pier 33, where naval ships from Russia’s Pacific fleet dock.

The officials were cited as saying Putin wants Kim to agree to send artillery shells and antitank missiles, while Kim would like Russia to provide North Korea with advanced satellite and nuclear-powered submarine technology. Kim also desires food aid for his country.

Kim may also visit Moscow, one official said, as well as Vostochny Cosmodrome, a space launch center in the Russian Far East.

The idea for the visit emerged after Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu traveled in July to North Korea to commemorate the 70th anniversary of a cease-fire agreement in the Korean War, according to the report.

In late August, a delegation of about 20 North Korean officials, including some who oversee security protocols for the leadership, traveled by train from Pyongyang to Vladivostok, then flew to Moscow, in a trip believed to be a forward planning exercise, the report said.

The respective countries have been heavily sanctioned by Western powers and Japan over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

By Nadeem Faisal Baiga