North Korean leader Kim to meet Putin in Russia this month

Leaders expected to discuss arms deal during meeting in east of the country

US sources say North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will discuss sales of ammunition with Russian President Vladimir Putin. AP
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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un plans to travel to Russia this month to meet President Vladimir Putin to discuss the possibility of supplying weapons for the war in Ukraine, the US claimed.

Mr Kim will travel from Pyongyang, probably by armoured train, to Vladivostok on the Pacific Coast of Russia, where he will meet Mr Putin, The New York Times reported on Monday, quoting US and allied sources.

The trip would take place as Russia discusses joint military exercises with North Korea and after Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu tried on a visit to North Korea to persuade Pyongyang to sell artillery ammunition.

The US has said that North Korea could provide more weapons to Russia, whose forces invaded Ukraine in February 2022 in a war that the US and its European allies oppose and that Moscow calls a special military operation.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby said on August 30 that the US was concerned that arms talks between the two countries were advancing.

“As we have warned publicly, arms negotiations between Russia and the DPRK are actively advancing,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said, using the official acronym for the North.

“We have information that Kim Jong-un expects these discussions to continue, to include leader-level diplomatic engagement in Russia.”

Last week, the White House said that Russia was already in talks with the North.

Mr Kirby said that despite its denials, North Korea supplied infantry rockets and missiles to Russia last year for use by the privately controlled Wagner Group.

Ms Watson said on Monday that the US urged North Korea “to cease its arms negotiations with Russia and abide by the public commitments that Pyongyang has made to not provide or sell arms to Russia”.

Updated: September 05, 2023, 4:01 AM