Kim's Parting Gifts Include Bulletproof Vest

South Korean president warns allies would answer tighter military ties between Russia, North Korea
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2023 1:25 PM CDT
Russia Sends Off Kim With a Bulletproof Vest
In this photo released by Government of Primorsky Krai Region, North Korea's ruler Kim Jong Un, centre, walks past honour guard soldiers prior to leaving Artyom, near Vladivostok, Russian Far East on Sunday.   (Government of Primorsky Krai Region via AP)

Kim Jong Un has stepped aboard his personal train for the slow trip home after six days of talks with Russian leaders and tours of military installations. A ceremony at a railway station in the far Eastern city of Artyom sent North Korea's ruler off Sunday to the strains of "Farewell of Slavianka," a patriotic Russian march. Russian state media reported that the Primorye region's governor presented Kim with practical gifts as he departed: a bulletproof vest, a set of five locally made kamikaze drones and a Geranium-25 reconnaissance drone, as well as a set of special clothing invisible to thermal imaging cameras, CNN reports. "This is a body armor with protection zones for the chest, shoulders, throat and groin, and it is much lighter than its known analogs," Tass added.

Kim's final events included a walrus show at a Russian aquarium on Sunday. Earlier during his visit, Kim discussed the possibility of greater cooperation between the nations' armed forces with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, worrying Western nations including the US. "Military cooperation between North Korea and Russia is illegal and unjust as it contravenes UN Security Council resolutions and various other international sanctions," South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol wrote Sunday in reponse to questions from AP. "The international community will unite more tightly in response to such a move." Russia wants conventional arms from North Korea. Analysts say North Korea's needs are broad and include high-tech weapons help as well as economic and food assistance. (More Kim Jong Un stories.)

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