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North Korean state media says Kim Jong Un mentioned arms cooperation with Russian protection minister

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SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean chief Kim Jong Un held discussions with Russia’s protection minister on strengthening “strategic and tactical coordination” between the nations’ militaries, the North’s state media stated Sunday, as Kim continued a go to to Russia’s Far East that has raised considerations about an arms alliance that might gas Moscow’s warfare on Ukraine.

The talks with Protection Minister Sergei Shoigu got here after Kim on Friday was proven a few of Russia’s most superior weapons techniques deployed for its warfare on Ukraine, together with nuclear-capable bombers and hypersonic missiles, and a key warship of its Pacific fleet, the Korean Central Information Company stated.

Kim’s journey, highlighted by a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, has underscored how their pursuits are aligning within the face of separate, intensifying confrontations with the West. U.S. and South Korean officers have stated North Korea might present badly wanted munitions for Putin’s warfare on Ukraine in change for classy Russian weapons expertise that might advance Kim’s nuclear ambitions.

Whereas his predominant focus is on navy cooperation, Kim additionally seems to be utilizing his journey to encourage broader exchanges between the nations as he tries to interrupt out of diplomatic isolation.

The governor of Russia’s Primorye area, which incorporates Vladivostok, stated he plans to satisfy with Kim on Sunday. Gov. Oleg Kozhemyako stated on his messaging app channel they might focus on change applications for schoolchildren to attend summer season camps in each other’s nation and different methods to cooperate in sports activities, tourism and tradition. Russian media stated Kim may go to meals trade companies in Primorye.

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A day after visiting an plane plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur that produces Russia’s strongest fighter jets, Kim on Saturday traveled to an airport close to the port metropolis of Vladivostok, the place Shoigu and different senior navy officers gave him an up-close have a look at Russia’s strategic bombers and different warplanes.

All of the Russian warplanes proven to Kim had been among the many varieties which have seen lively use within the warfare in Ukraine, together with the Tu-160, Tu-95 and Tu-22 bombers which have recurrently launched cruise missiles.

Throughout Kim’s go to, Shoigu and Lt. Gen. Sergei Kobylash, the commander of the Russian long-range bomber pressure, confirmed for the primary time that the Tu-160 had lately acquired new cruise missiles with a spread of greater than 6,500 kilometers (over 4,040 miles).

Shoigu, who had met Kim throughout a uncommon go to to North Korea in July, additionally confirmed Kim one other of Russia’s newest missiles, the hypersonic Kinzhal, carried by the MiG-31 fighter jet, that noticed its first fight throughout the warfare in Ukraine.

Kim and Shoigu later traveled to Vladivostok, the place they inspected the Admiral Shaposhnikov frigate. Russia’s navy commander, Adm. Nikolai Yevmenov, briefed Kim on the ship’s capabilities and weapons, which embrace long-range Kalibr cruise missiles that Russian warships have recurrently fired at targets in Ukraine.

KCNA, which has reported Kim’s actions in Russia a day late whereas crafting the main points to satisfy authorities propaganda functions, stated Kim was accompanied on Saturday’s visits by his prime navy officers, together with his protection minister and the highest commanders of his air pressure and navy.

Following a luncheon, Kim and Shoigu talked concerning the regional safety surroundings and exchanged views on “sensible points arising in additional strengthening the strategic and tactical coordination, cooperation and mutual change between the armed forces of the 2 nations,” KCNA stated.

Of their July assembly, Kim gave Shoigu an identical inspection of North Korean weapons techniques earlier than inviting him to an enormous parade within the capital, Pyongyang, the place he rolled out his strongest intercontinental ballistic missiles designed to focus on the US.

Kim’s visits to navy and expertise websites this week probably trace at what he desires from Russia, maybe in change for supplying munitions to refill Putin’s declining reserves as his invasion of Ukraine turns into a drawn-out warfare of attrition.

Kim’s assembly with Putin was held at Russia’s principal spaceport, a location that pointed to his need for Russian help in his efforts to accumulate space-based reconnaissance belongings and missile applied sciences.

Consultants have stated potential navy cooperation between the nations might embrace efforts to modernize North Korea’s outdated air pressure, which depends on warplanes despatched from the Soviet Union within the Nineteen Eighties.

Kim in latest months has additionally refocused on strengthening the nation’s navy, which analysts say might be pushed by ambitions to acquire Russia’s refined applied sciences for ballistic missile submarines and nuclear-propelled submarines in addition to to provoke joint naval workout routines between Russia and North Korea.

Later Saturday, Kim visited a neighborhood theater to look at Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Magnificence ballet efficiency. KCNA stated Kim acquired a rousing ovation by individuals on the theater and expressed “deep due to the performers and the theater for his or her spectacular and chic ballet of excessive creative worth.”

Russia’s RIA Novosti state information company stated Kim left after the primary act.

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