North Korean Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Un, and President of Russia, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, met early yesterday for a much-anticipated talk that lasted from four to five hours. It was held in eastern Russia at the Russian Space Base, Vostochny Cosmodrome.
Upon welcoming Kim and his associates at the beginning of their talks, Putin said: “[...] We, of course, need to talk about questions of economic cooperation and questions of a humanitarian nature. We have a lot of questions. I want to say that I am very glad to see you. Thank you for accepting the invitation and coming to Russia.”
To this introductory welcome, Kim responded “Our friendship has deep roots, and now relations with the Russian Federation are the first priority for our country. [...] Russia has risen to a sacred fight to protect its sovereignty and security... against the hegemonic forces. We will always support the decisions of President Putin and the Russian leadership... and we will be together in the fight against imperialism.”
Future cooperation between the countries in space has been established. North Korea has repeatedly failed twice to launch spy satellites and Pyongyang has vowed to develop one to boost its military surveillance capabilities (despite the success of this mission being a violation of international sanctions). Therefore, Russia will aid North Korea in building and launching its satellites.
When Kim arrived at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, Putin showed him around this space base. Putin commented that “the leader of North Korea shows great interest in space, in rocketry, and they are trying to develop space. We’ll show our new objects.”
Pak Thae Song, chairman of North Korea's space science and technology committee, and Navy Admiral Kim Myong Sik are overseeing North Korea’s satellite operations and are noted to have been at this talk.
With Kim having boarded his heavily armoured, bullet-proof private train back to Pyongyang, the world is analysing what’s been said at Vostochny Cosmodrome and speculating on the future direction of world affairs.
The two have discussed the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which hints at the beginning of a military deal to aid Russia’s endeavours. Putin’s response regarding this was an ambiguous mention that they would discuss "all issues". The US, however, has directly addressed this potential arms deal between the two, threatening that they “won’t hesitate” to impose further sanctions.
This issue was remarked on by Matthew Miller, the State Department spokesperson, at a briefing on Putin and Kim’s delegation. Miller said, “We have taken a number of actions already to sanction entities that brokered arms sales between North Korea and Russia and we won’t hesitate to impose additional actions if appropriate.”
Edited by: Anwen Venn
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