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June 12, 2024

North Korean leader Kim is reportedly planning to receive his “comrade in arms” Putin in Pyongyang

Russian President Vladimir Putin could visit North Korea as early as next week, according to several reports from the region.

On Wednesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent Putin a congratulatory message on the occasion of Russia’s National Day, in which he praised the growing relationship between the two countries.

“Thanks to the important meeting between us at the Vostochny Spaceport in September last year, friendly and cooperative relations have been established.” [between North Korea and Russia] An unbreakable bond between comrades-in-arms has developed into an unbreakable bond between comrades-in-arms, Kim said in the message carried by Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency, which referred to Kim’s visit to Russia’s far east last year.

Kim added that their “meaningful” relationship will “foster the Eternal Teacher” in the new era.

This message came as Japanese public broadcaster NHK and South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported on Wednesday that Putin may visit Pyongyang “as early as next week” as part of a trip to North Korea and Vietnam.

NHK quoted unidentified diplomatic sources, including high-ranking Russian officials, while Yonhap said satellite images showed possible signs of a “large structure” being installed at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang.

Neither Russia nor North Korea have officially confirmed any plans, but Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said at a news conference in May that the visit was “in preparation, and we will make an announcement at the appropriate time.”

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If the visit takes place, it will be the third in-person meeting between Kim and Putin. During their meeting in Vostochny in September, Kim invited the Russian president to visit North Korea at an “appropriate time,” which Putin accepted.

Kim’s visit to Russia’s main space launch site in September was significant because Western intelligence agencies believe Moscow is supplying Pyongyang with advanced technologies for its space program in exchange for artillery and missiles for use in Ukraine.

Both North Korea and Russia deny the allegations of arms transfers, which are in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions.

Last month, tensions escalated between North Korea and South Korea as the two countries exchanged garbage-filled balloons and propaganda over loudspeakers.

Kim Jong Un is in Russia for talks with Putin

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