- Kim Jong Un met Vladimir Putin after four years.
- Putin was extended invitation at end of meeting.
- Kim told Putin he was sure of Russian victory over foes.
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Pyongyang which he accepted amid the leader’s hours-long meeting as their bilateral ties further deepen amid rising global tensions, according to a Korean Central News Agency report Thursday.
Kim Jong Un met Vladimir Putin after four years, assuring him of Pyongyang’s all-out support against its special military operation in Ukraine that commenced in February last year.
Russian President was extended an invitation at the end of the bilateral meeting Wednesday in which “Kim Jong Un courteously invited him to visit the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] at a convenient time,” KCNA reported.
“Putin accepted the invitation with pleasure and reaffirmed his will to invariably carry forward the history and tradition of the Russia-DPRK friendship.”
Kim told Putin Wednesday he was sure Russia would win a “great victory” over its enemies, as Ukraine’s Western allies warned of a possible Russian arms agreement with North Korea.
Russia was heavily criticised and sanctioned by the West after it started its special military operation against Ukraine last year. Moscow is now looking to strengthen alliances with other leaders ostracised by democratic countries.
Putin praised the “strengthening of cooperation and friendship between our countries”, while hosting Kim at a Far East spaceport, and told reporters he saw “possibilities” for military cooperation with North Korea.
He had earlier said Moscow could help Pyongyang build satellites.
In Washington, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller had described any cooperation as “quite troubling and would potentially be in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions.”US officials and experts have said Russia is interested in buying North Korean ammunition to use in Ukraine.
While Kim was in Russia, Pyongyang fired two ballistic missiles Wednesday, the South Korean military said, the latest in a string of sanctions-busting tests.
The missiles were launched from near the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, and flew about 650 km (404 miles), said South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, which condemned the launch as a violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters that Japan had lodged a protest against North Korea through diplomatic channels in Beijing.
Both missiles fell in the sea outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), he added.