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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during a visit to navy headquarter in North Korea on August 27. Photo: Korean Central News Agency / Korea News Service via AP

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un to meet Vladimir Putin in Russia to discuss Ukraine war weapons, says report

  • The New York Times newspaper reported that the leaders would discuss the possibility of North Korea supplying weapons for the Ukraine war
  • The trip would come after Russia’s defence minister had tried on a visit to North Korea to convince Pyongyang to sell artillery ammunition to Russia
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un plans to travel to Russia this month to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the possibility of supplying weapons for the war in Ukraine, The New York Times newspaper reported on Monday, citing US and allied sources.
Kim would travel from Pyongyang, probably by armoured train, to Vladivostok, on the Pacific Coast of Russia, where he would meet Putin, the newspaper said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Russia in 2019. Photo: AFP via Getty Images / TNS
The planned trip would come as Russia discusses holding joint military exercises with North Korea and after Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu had tried on a visit to North Korea to convince Pyongyang to sell artillery ammunition to Russia.

“As we have warned publicly, arms negotiations between Russia and the DPRK are actively advancing,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said using the acronym for North Korea’s official name.

She added that “we have information that Kim Jong-un expects these discussions to continue, to include leader-level diplomatic engagement in Russia”.

The newspaper said Putin wanted artillery shells and anti-tank missiles from North Korea, and Kim could even travel to Moscow, but that was uncertain.

Kim is reported to be seeking advanced technology for satellites and nuclear-powered submarines, as well as food aid for his impoverished nation.

North Korea fires ‘mock nuclear warheads’ as ‘desperate’ Kim seeks US counter

Washington said last week that despite its denials, North Korea supplied infantry rockets and missiles to Russia in 2022 for use by the privately controlled Wagner military group.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu travelled last month to North Korea seeking to acquire additional munitions for the war, Watson said on Monday.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby said on August 30 that the United States was concerned that arms negotiations between the two countries were advancing actively.

Last week at the United Nations, the United States, Britain, South Korea and Japan said that any deal to increase cooperation between Russia and North Korea would violate Security Council resolutions forbidding arms deals with Pyongyang – resolutions that Moscow itself had endorsed.

They said that following Shoigu’s visit to Pyongyang, another group of Russian officials travelled to North Korea for follow-up talks.


North Korea launches mock nuclear warhead missiles to ‘warn enemies’

North Korea launches mock nuclear warhead missiles to ‘warn enemies’

The United States last month sanctioned three entities accused of seeking to facilitate arms deals between North Korea and Russia as Washington tightened restrictions on support for Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

The US Treasury Department said Russia was continuing to use up munitions and lose heavy equipment in Ukraine, forcing it to turn to its small pool of allies, including North Korea, for support.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse