According to North Korean state news agency, Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted an invitation from Kim Jong Un to visit North Korea.
This follows after the two leaders held their first face-to-face summit in four years.
Kim Jong Un extended the invitation to Putin at “a convenient time” at a reception to mark the end of a day where the two held more than four hours of talks and toured the Vostochny Cosmodrome space centre.
No timeframe was given for Putin to visit Pyongyang.
“Putin accepted the invitation with pleasure and reaffirmed his will to invariably carry forward the history and tradition of the Russia-DPRK friendship,” North Korean state news agency announced on Thursday, September 14, 2023, using the acronym for the country’s official name.
In its report, the North Korean news agency disclosed that Kim and Putin agreed to bolster strategic and tactical cooperation in the face of the “military threats, provocations and tyranny of imperialists.”
Putin, meanwhile, praised the “strengthening of cooperation and friendship between our countries” and told reporters he saw “possibilities” for military cooperation with North Korea.
The Russian leader said earlier that Moscow could help Pyongyang build satellites.
Some analysts suggested North Korea might want to try using a Russian space launch vehicle for the satellite and work with Russia to build a more powerful piece of equipment.
“It’s possible that North Korea pushes to participate in the production process of the satellite, rather than just acquiring a finished product, to set up a natural transfer of technologies,” Yang Uk, a military expert at South Korea’s Asian Institute for Policy Studies, told a news agency.
Kim’s delegation to Russia includes his Defence Minister, his top military Commander and the Director of the country’s munitions department.
Leif-Eric Easley, professor of international studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, opined that the members of Kim’s delegation, as well as the location for the summit, were “quite telling” even though no joint statement was issued.
“The composition of Kim’s delegation suggests North Korea may send munitions to Russia in exchange for military technology. Meeting at Russia’s eastern spaceport was equivalent to Putin thumbing his nose at UN Security Council Resolutions.
“This should be a wake-up call to all other UN member states about the need to redouble efforts at enforcing sanctions on Pyongyang.”Leif-Eric Easley
South Korea, Japan And U.S Express Concerns
The Kim-Putin meeting in Russia has raised alarm in the United States and other countries that Kim might be prepared to sell arms to Moscow for its war in Ukraine, perhaps in exchange for technology that would further his military ambitions.
South Korea’s Unification Minister, Kim Young-ho, who is in charge of relations with Pyongyang, expressed “deep concerns” over military cooperation and possible arms deals, saying that the two countries were apparently continuing to pursue “some kind of” a military deal.
“We once again urge Russia and North Korea to halt illicit acts that cause their isolation and regression, and follow international rules including the Security Council resolutions,” the Minister told reporters on Thursday.
Additionally, Japan’s newly-appointed Foreign Minister, Yoko Kamikawa also warned against “violations” of UN resolutions.
The resolutions, which were passed with Russian support, ban the development of technology that could be used in North Korea’s ballistic missile programmes.
They also prohibit any scientific and technical cooperation with North Korea in nuclear science and technology, aerospace and aeronautical engineering and technology, or advanced manufacturing production techniques and methods.
US State Department spokesman, Matthew Miller also said that it was “troubling” that Russia was talking about cooperation with North Korea on programmes that potentially would violate UN Security Council resolutions.