Vladimir Putin accepts Kim Jong Un's invitation to visit North Korea
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday (September 14) accepted the invitation by his guest Kim Jong Un to visit North Korea, informed the state-run KCNA news agency. "Putin accepted the invitation with pleasure and reaffirmed his will to invariably carry forward the history and tradition of the Russia-DPRK friendship."
Vladimir Putin has accepted an invitation to visit North Korea, Pyongyang state media said on Thursday, as he and Kim Jong Un toasted "cooperation and friendship between our countries" during a meeting in Russia.
Putin is attempting to strengthen connections with other leaders shunned by the West, which is why Kim is visiting the Far East of Russia. The North Korean leader is also due to oversee a display of Russian warships during his visit, Putin said, to "demonstrate the capabilities of the Pacific Fleet".
As Moscow's battle in Ukraine drags on, Western allies have expressed worry over a potential arms deal between Russia and North Korea.
Kim Jong Un "courteously invited Putin to visit the DPRK at a convenient time" after their meeting on Wednesday, according to the state-run KCNA news agency, which used the country's official name.
"Putin accepted the invitation with pleasure and reiterated his commitment to continuously uphold the history and tradition of the friendship between Russia and the DPRK." On Wednesday, Kim assured Putin that he was confident in Russia's ability to defeat its adversaries.
After their lengthy conversations, Kim Jong Un and Putin reportedly had a private meeting, and Kim wrote in the visitor's book, "The glory of Russia that produced the first conquerors of space will be immortal," according to KCNA.
After escalating conflicts in Ukraine last year, Russia was shunned by the West and has sought to reinforce its connections with other leaders who are also isolated. While welcoming Kim at a spaceport in Russia's Far East, Putin welcomed the "strengthening of cooperation and friendship between our countries" and told reporters he saw "possibilities" for military collaboration with North Korea.
While Kim was in Russia, Pyongyang fired two ballistic missiles on Wednesday, the South Korean military said, the latest in a string of sanctions-busting tests.