Putin accepts Kim Jong Un's invitation to visit DPRK: KCNA
Updated 14:23, 14-Sep-2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin accepted the invitation from Kim Jong Un, leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), to visit his country during their meeting at Russia's Vostochny spaceport, DPRK's state media KCNA reported on Thursday.

"Putin accepted the invitation with pleasure and reaffirmed his will to invariably carry forward the history and tradition of the Russia-DPRK friendship," the agency said.

At the duo's meeting, Kim said the meeting brought bilateral ties to a new level and expressed his willingness to foster stable and future-oriented relations for the next 100 years, KCNA said.

Both sides agreed to further strengthen strategic and tactical cooperation in the face of the "military threats, provocations and tyranny of imperialists," it said.

Kim visits Russia's rocket launch site

On Wednesday, Putin showed Kim around Russia's most advanced space rocket launch site in Russia's Far East and discussed the possibility of sending a DPRK astronaut into space. But there was no mention of any arms supplies, trade of weapons or technical assistance over weapons programs.

U.S. and South Korean officials have expressed concern that Kim could provide weapons and ammunition to Russia, which has expended vast stocks in more than 18 months of the Ukraine conflict. Moscow and Pyongyang have denied such intentions.

Read more: Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un hold talks in Russian space center

After the tour, Putin, 70, and Kim, 39, held talks for several hours with their ministers. The Kremlin said sensitive discussions between neighbors were a private matter.

When asked by Russian media if Moscow would help Kim build satellites, Putin said: "That's why we came here."

Kim also said before a toast at a state dinner with Putin that he is "certain that the Russian people and its military will emerge victorious in the fight to punish the evil forces that ambitiously pursues hegemony and expansion."

Without naming Ukraine, Kim said the "Russian military and its people will inherit the shining tradition of victory, confidently demonstrate invaluable dignity and honor on the fronts of the special military operation."

"I will always be standing with Russia," Kim said.

Putin and Kim were offered a menu including duck and fig salad, crab dumplings, sturgeon and beef with a choice of Russian wines, according to Kremlin reporters.

Putin said Kim now planned to visit military and civilian aviation factories in the Russian city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur and to inspect Russia's Pacific fleet in Vladivostok.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Pyongyang for more talks next month, the Kremlin said.

(Cover: Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with DPRK leader Kim Jong Un during a meeting at Vostochny in the far eastern Amur region, Russia, September 13, 2023. /Reuters)

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