Kim Pledges 'Unconditional Support' for Russia's War

Wednesday's meeting in Russia's Far East suggests likelihood of a weapons deal
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2023 6:31 AM CDT
Kim Pledges 'Unconditional Support' for Russia's War
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shake hands during their meeting at the Vostochny cosmodrome outside the city of Tsiolkovsky, Russia, on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023.   (Vladimir Smirnov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Kim Jong Un vowed "full and unconditional support" for Russia's "just fight" during his summit with President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, suggesting North Korea may well supply ammunition to the "special military operation" in Ukraine. Kim made the comments after touring launch pads with Putin at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia's eastern Amur region, to which he traveled in a limousine brought into Russia on an armored train, per the AP. The location of the meeting, which lasted four to five hours, "suggests that Kim is seeking Russian help developing military reconnaissance satellites," the outlet reports. Putin said the point was to help North Korea launch its own satellites and rockets. He was expected to request weapons in exchange for military technology and economic aid, per Al Jazeera.

According to South Korea, Kim's delegation included two officials linked to efforts to acquire spy satellites and nuclear-capable ballistic missile submarines and one official in charge of munitions policies. Kim and Putin first toured a Soyuz-2 space rocket launch facility, where "Kim peppered a Russian space official with questions about the rockets," per the AP. The leaders then met together with their delegations and later one on one. Before leaving, Kim said "Russia has risen to a sacred fight to protect its sovereignty and security. We will always support the decisions of President Putin and the Russian leadership … and we will be together in the fight against imperialism," per the Guardian. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov later said North Korea showed interest in cooperating on aviation and transport. (More Kim Jong Un stories.)

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