Web Stories Friday, February 23

PUTIN VISIT?

During Kim’s visit last year, the Kremlin chief accepted an invitation to visit North Korea and Choe’s talks in Moscow are expected to include discussions about that potential trip.

“As for Putin’s visit, yes, it is on the agenda – there is a current invitation and Putin will definitely use it at a convenient time, by mutual agreement of the parties, of course,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Russia has gone out of its way to publicise the renaissance of its relationship, including military ties, with North Korea, which was formed in 1948 with the backing of the then-Soviet Union.

For Putin, who says Russia is locked in an existential battle with the West over Ukraine, courting Kim allows him to needle Washington and its Asian allies while securing a deep supply of artillery for the Ukraine war.

For Kim, who has pledged to accelerate production of nuclear weapons to deter what he casts as US provocations, Russia is a big power ally with deep stores of advanced missile, military, space and nuclear technology.

When accompanying Kim on a tour of one of Russia’s space launch sites in September, Putin said that Russia would help Pyongyang build satellites and the two leaders discussed the possibility of sending a North Korean cosmonaut into space.

After taking over as president from Boris Yeltsin on the last day of 1999, Putin visited Pyongyang in July 2000 for a meeting with Kim Jong Il, the father of Kim Jong Un.

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