The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong UnThis Monday he left by train for Russia, where he will meet with the head of the Kremlin. Wladimir Putinwith which, according to the media, he will address the supply of weapons to Moscow for the war in Ukraine.
In his first foreign trip since 2019, Kim will pay an official visit to Russia “in the coming days” at the invitation of the Russian president, the Kremlin said in a statement.
The meeting between Kim and “Comrade Putin” was also confirmed by the North Korean state agency KCNA. As reported Official South Korean sources According to the Yonhap Agency, the North Korean leader’s armored train left Pyongyang on Monday and allegedly headed to Russian territory.
Vladivostok, meeting point
More specifically, this morning Putin traveled to Vladivostok, the capital of the Russian Far East and most likely the site of talks with Kim.
The Russian leader will preside in this port city this week Eastern Economic Forumwhere he will meet Zhang Guoqing, vice premier of China, the North Korean regime’s main ally.
The Kremlin suggested that the summit would take place at the end of this forum, starting on Wednesday. “We have been preparing for Kim Jong-un’s visit for a long time,” a source in the government of a Russian Far East region assured Russian authorities.
It is not known when Kim might arrive in Vladivostok, which is about 700 kilometers from the North Korean capital.
The last time Kim traveled to the same city to meet with Putin in April 2019, he also traveled on his special armored train, which took about 20 hours to reach the port washed by the Pacific Ocean.
this is that Kim’s first trip abroad since 2019since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic led the communist regime to strictly close its borders in early 2020, and just this summer the hermetic Asian country once again allowed the entry of people from outside under strict protocols.
Munitions and missiles for Ukraine
Last week, the New York Times and other Anglo-Saxon media reported that Kim would meet with Putin to discuss military-technical cooperation over the war in Ukraine.
According to this newspaper, Putin wants North Korea to sell artillery ammunition and anti-tank missiles to Russia that Moscow could use in Ukraine, where the Russian army fired more than 10 million projectiles last year, Western sources reported last week.
Meanwhile, according to this source, Moscow It would only be able to produce two million projectiles per year, which would not be enough to fuel its war machine.
This is what the press reports North Koreawhich has been in a permanent pre-war state with South Korea for 70 years, has millions of 122 and 151 millimeter howitzers in its arsenals.
Experts also point out that Pyongyang has spare parts for the Soviet-made T-54 and T-62 tanks.
Meanwhile, Pyongyang would seek advanced technology for manufacturing satellites and nuclear submarines, as well as for oil production and food aid.
Russia and North Korea share a land border of less than 20 kilometers, so supply does not pose a logistical problem, although deliveries can also be made by sea.
Kim, in power since 2011, met for the first time with Putin in Vladivostok In April 2019, a meeting took place where he discussed with his Russian counterpart the provision of security guarantees to Pyongyang.
Putin, who has also increased his nuclear arsenal in the face of the NATO threat, called on the United States to commit in writing to respect the sovereignty of the communist regime, after which North Korea would begin denuclearization.
The Kremlin leader has repeatedly warned that after the overthrow and execution of the Iraqi and Libyan leaders Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafirespectively, the Kims came to the conclusion that nuclear weapons were the best guarantee for the survival of the hermetic country.
His father, Kim Jong-il, also traveled to Russia with his famous armored train in August 2011, four months before his death, where he left open the possibility of a moratorium on nuclear testing.