Kim Jong Un Arrives in Russia
Sept. 12, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Russian Natural Resources and Environment Minister Alexander Kozlov greeted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after the train arrived at the Khasan station in the Primorye Region. Kozlov wrote on his Telegram channel that Russia and North Korea have been good friends for 75 years. “All these years we have been supporting and helping each other not only as neighbors, but also as close partners,” Kozlov added.
The Korea Herald had reported earlier that Kim, “publicly flanked by a cadre of key military officers,” had entered Russia aboard his train. “The move strongly signals that the focus of the impending summit will revolve around strengthening military cooperation, despite explicit repeated warnings from the United States about the potential consequences for both countries, including additional sanctions in the event of arms transfers from North Korea to Russia.”
Among those accompanying Kim are: Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea Ri Pyong-chol, “who holds the highest-ranking military position and is widely recognized for his pivotal role in North Korea’s nuclear and missile development, who was seen as part of Kim’s entourage in photos released by state media.” Also part of the delegation is Pak Jong-chon, who serves as the director of the Department of Political Leadership over Military Affairs, and holds the second-highest-ranking military position. He was also seen in the company of Kim. The commanders of the North Korean navy and air force were also seen in Kim’s entourage.
“Especially considering the significant presence of military personnel, we are closely monitoring the possibility of discussions regarding arms deals and technology transfer between North Korea and Russia,” South Korean Defense Ministry spokesperson Jeon Ha-gyu said on Sept. 12.
So far, the only hint as to what may be on the agenda for Kim’s meeting with Putin has come from Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “Above all, the issues related to bilateral ties, cooperation, trade and economic ties and cultural exchanges will be discussed,” Peskov said this morning, reported TASS. “Certainly, there will be an intensive exchange of opinions on the situation in the region and on international affairs in general, because this is of interest both to Putin and to our guest from Pyongyang.” He then, however, added: “Naturally, being neighbors, our countries cooperate in certain sensitive spheres which should not be publicly revealed or announced.”