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Ukraine war: Kim Jong Un ‘to visit Putin for weapons talks’



North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un plans to travel to Russia this month to meet President Vladimir Putin, a US official has told the US partner CBS.


The two leaders will discuss the possibility of North Korea providing Moscow with weapons to support its war in Ukraine, the official said.


The exact location of the planned meeting is not clear.


There was no immediate comment on the report, also carried by other US media, from North Korea or Russia.


Sources told the New York Times that Kim was most likely to travel by armoured train.


The possible meeting comes after the White House said it had new information that arms negotiations between the two countries were “actively advancing”.


National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Russia’s Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu, had tried to “convince Pyongyang to sell artillery ammunition” to Russia during a recent visit to North Korea.


Weapons on display at the meeting included the Hwasong intercontinental ballistic missile, believed to be the country’s first ICBM to use solid propellants.


It was the first time Kim had opened the country’s doors to foreign guests since the Covid pandemic.



Putin and Mr Kim have since exchanged letters “pledging to increase their bilateral co-operation”, he said


He warned the US would take action, including imposing sanctions, if North Korea did supply Russia with weapons.


There is concern both in Washington and in Seoul about what North Korea would get in return for such a deal, which may result in increased military cooperation between the two countries in Asia.


On Monday, South Korea’s intelligence service briefed that Shoigu had suggested Russia, China and North Korea hold joint naval drills, similar to those carried out by the US, South Korea and Japan.


Another fear is that Russia could supply North Korea with weapons in the future, at a time when Pyongyang most needs them.


More worrying still, Kim Jong Un may ask Putin to provide him with advanced weapons technology or knowledge, to help him make breakthroughs in his nuclear weapons programme.

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