The North Korean leader Kim Jong Un he invited the Russian president Wladimir Putin State media reported on Thursday that Kim continued his tour with his country during talks in Russia and was expected to visit military production facilities.
Putin accepted the invitation, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported, without specifying when the visit might take place.
Kim Jong Un told Putin that the meeting in Russia’s Far East took bilateral relations to a new level and expressed his willingness to promote stable, future-oriented relations for the next hundred years, KCNA reported.
The invitation for Putin to visit North Korea came at the end of a reception organized by the Kremlin chief after they toured the Vostochny space center in Russia’s Far East and held talks on bilateral ties and strengthening cooperation, KCNA reported.
“At the end of the reception, Kim Jong Un kindly invited Putin to visit the DPRK at an opportune time,” KCNA said, referring to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea’s official name.
“Putin accepted the invitation with joy and reaffirmed his will to always continue the history and tradition of friendship between Russia and the DPRK,” it said.
The Kremlin spokesman said on Wednesday Dmitry Peskov said there was no plan for Putin to visit Pyongyang.
The two leaders agreed to further strengthen strategic and tactical cooperation in the face of “military threats, provocations and tyranny of the imperialists,” KCNA said.
During his visit to the Vostochny space test site, Kim was briefed on technical details about Russian spacecraft, but there was no mention of arms deliveries, arms trafficking or technical support for the weapons program.
After the reception, Kim “went to his next destination,” KCNA said, without elaborating.
U.S. and South Korean officials expressed concern that Kim Jong Un could supply arms and ammunition to Russia, which has used up large amounts of supplies during the more than 18 months of war in Ukraine. Moscow and Pyongyang denied such intentions.
The US State Department said the Biden administration “will not hesitate” to impose additional sanctions on Russia and North Korea if they engage in new arms deals.
It is “concerning” that Russia is talking about working with North Korea on programs that would potentially violate a U.N. Security Council resolution, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said after the summit in Russia.
On Wednesday, Putin hinted several times that military cooperation had been discussed, but did not go into details. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was also present at the talks. The Kremlin said sensitive discussions between neighbors were a private matter.
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