North Korea's Kim says Russia visit shows 'strategic importance' of relations

Kim Jong-un is expected to meet Vladimir Putin for weapons discussions

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un steps down from his train after crossing the border to Russia at Khasan, on September 12. AP
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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said his visit to Russia was a clear show of the “strategic importance” of the two countries' relations, state media KCNA reported on Wednesday.

Mr Kim arrived in Russia by private train on Tuesday for talks with President Vladimir Putin amid warnings from Washington that the two countries should not trade weapons.

“Kim Jong-un said that his visit to the Russian Federation … is a clear manifestation of the stand of the WPK and the government of the DPRK prioritising the strategic importance of DPRK-Russia relations,” the KCNA report said.

The DPRK is an abbreviation of North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, while the WPK is the Workers' Party of Korea, the sole ruling party in the reclusive country.

Images released by KCNA showed Mr Kim arriving at the train station in the border town of Khasan on Tuesday morning and being greeted by senior officials from Moscow and elsewhere.

He is also shown meeting Russia's Natural Resources Minister, Alexander Kozlov.

His movements since are unclear but Japan's Kyodo news agency and South Korean media have reported that he might meet Mr Putin at the Vostochny cosmodrome in eastern Russia.

Kim Jong-un arrives in Russia ahead of talks with Vladimir Putin

Kim Jong-un arrives in Russia ahead of talks with Vladimir Putin

The trip marks Mr Kim's first visit to Russia in nearly four years and his first foreign visit after the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, according to KCNA.

His visit seeks to put DPRK-Russia relations on a “fresh, higher level", the report said.

Updated: September 13, 2023, 1:02 AM