Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un are currently in rare talks at a cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East, a meeting which could see the leaders forge a weapons deal that would defy global sanctions.
A beaming Kim arrived by limousine on Wednesday morning – brought in his armoured train from Pyongyang – and Putin shook hands with him at Vostochny Cosmodrome, a spaceport some 620 miles from Vladivostok.
Russia state media quoted Kim as thanking Putin for the invitation to visit Russia, “despite being busy”.
Video released by the Kremlin showed the two leaders touring the vast space centre ahead of their talks. Putin said the location was chosen as Moscow plans to help North Korea build satellites.
“The leader of the DPRK shows great interest in rocket technology, and they are trying to develop (their presence in) space,” Putin said.
According to experts, Russia will likely seek artillery shells and antitank missiles from North Korea, which wants advanced satellite and nuclear-powered submarine technology in return.
“We’ll talk about all the issues, without haste. There is time,” Putin said, when asked by reporters whether military cooperation would be on the agenda.
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Abhinav Thawait is a globe-trotting correspondent with a passion for international affairs. With a background in international relations, he offers a global perspective on the most pressing issues around the world. Abhinav’s curiosity takes his to the far corners of the earth, where he seeks to share untold stories and diverse viewpoints.