Historic meeting: Russian President Putin welcomes Kim Jong-un at cosmodrome | WATCH
Kim's arrival in Russia saw his personal train stopping at Khasan, a border station between Russia and North Korea. He was welcomed with military honors, a brass band, and a red carpet.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made his way to a cosmodrome in Russia's Far East for a crucial meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. This meeting underscores how the two leaders are finding common ground amid their escalating disputes with the United States.
As Kim arrived, Putin extended a warm welcome, greeting him at the entrance of a launch vehicle assembly building. The leaders exchanged handshakes, with Putin expressing his delight at Kim's presence. Kim's translator conveyed thanks to Putin for the warm reception, acknowledging the Russian leader's busy schedule. The agenda included an inspection of the cosmodrome and subsequent talks, according to Russian state media reports.
Earlier in the day, North Korea fired two ballistic missiles into the sea, continuing a series of provocative weapons tests throughout 2022. Kim appeared to leverage the international focus on Putin's conflict in Ukraine to advance his weapons development.
For Putin, the meeting with Kim presents an opportunity to replenish military resources depleted during the 18-month-long war in Ukraine. Meanwhile, for Kim, this engagement offers a chance to bypass stifling U.N. sanctions and years of diplomatic isolation. Kim is anticipated to seek economic aid and military technology, though any potential arms deal would run counter to international sanctions that Russia had previously supported.
Details on the range of North Korean missiles were not immediately available. Nevertheless, Japan's Coast Guard advised vessels to remain vigilant for falling objects, indicating that the missiles had likely already landed.
Kim's arrival in Russia saw his personal train stopping at Khasan, a border station between Russia and North Korea. He was welcomed with military honors, a brass band, and a red carpet. Regional Governor Oleg Kozhemyako and Natural Resources Minister Alexander Kozlov were among the dignitaries who greeted him.
Kim emphasized the significance of his visit to Russia, marking his return after four years, as a testament to Pyongyang's prioritization of its strategic ties with Moscow, according to North Korea's official news agency. Kim's exact destination was not disclosed in the report.
The Russian delegation will include Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, according to Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson.