Kim Jong Un Set For Key Discussions With Putin in Russia

( – Kim Jong Un has arrived in Russia for a highly anticipated meeting with President Vladimir Putin, sparking concerns in Western circles that the North Korean leader may try to give military assistance to Moscow in its ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

In footage broadcast by Russian state media, Kim was observed disembarking from his luxury armored train, the preferred mode of transport for leaders from the secretive state. The presence of Kim in Russia was also verified by the Russian news agency Interfax.

This trip marks Kim’s first international visit outside of North Korea after enduring three years of isolation due to the pandemic. The United States has issued stern warnings of potential new sanctions, aiming to preempt any prospective arms deals.

South Korea’s defense ministry expressed its vigilance regarding potential negotiations between North Korea and Russia, particularly focusing on arms trade and technology transfer. Kim’s entourage includes several military officers.

North Korean state media reported that Kim had left NK’s capital Pyongyang by train on Sunday, September 10. Kim was accompanied by a group of members of the military, the government, and the North Korean Communist Party.

KCNA, the state news agency, stated that Kim received a “send-off” from senior officials in Pyongyang but did not specify whether he had reached Russia. State media images depicted Kim passing honor guards and waving from his distinctive green-and-yellow train.

KCNA had previously indicated that Kim and Putin were scheduled to meet, though without providing specific details.

Russia has been seeking international backing as it faces a Ukrainian counteroffensive, turning to countries adversarial to the United States, including North Korea. In recent weeks, Kim and Putin have exchanged letters pledging increased cooperation, as reported by U.S. officials and state media in both nations. US officials also revealed that they anticipated Kim’s visit to Russia, with arms negotiations progressing and likely continuing during his stay.

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