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Kim Jong Un praises Russia's war, toasts to future 'victory'

by Martin Fornusek September 13, 2023 2:23 PM 3 min read
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) visit a construction site of the Angara rocket launch complex on Sept. 13, 2023, in Tsiolkovsky, Russia. (Photo credit: Getty Images)
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North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un told Russian officials during his visit that he is confident in Russia's victory over Ukraine, the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported on Sept. 13.

"I am strongly convinced that the heroic Russian army and people will follow excellently the tradition of Victory, and will confidently demonstrate virtue and honor on the front of the (Russo-Ukrainian War) and in building a strong state," Kim said in the footage of the speech, surrounded by North Korean and Russian officials.

The North Korean leader also claimed "the Russian army and people will achieve a great victory in the sacred battle against the great evil."

Delivering a toast to the Kremlin leader's health, Kim said he appreciated the role of his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in "building a strong, modern Russia."

Kim said that he wants to continue developing relations with Russia, which are now Pyongyang's first priority: "I hope that we will always be together in the fight against imperialism."

According to Russian news agencies, the two leaders concluded talks that lasted for four to five hours.

White House: Russia, North Korea talks on arms supplies move forward
The U.S. is concerned that the negotiations between Russia and North Korea on arms supplies are actively advancing, Reuters reported on Aug. 30, citing National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby.

The North Korean leader arrived in Russia's far-eastern Amur Oblast earlier on Sept. 13 for expected arms sales talks.

Meeting his guest at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, Putin claimed that the two leaders would discuss cooperation in missile and space technology.

Citing Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, the TASS news agency said that Russia sees prospects in cooperating with North Korea in space and that Pyongyang is interested in developing cooperation in aviation and transport.

However, Washington believes that the talks also concerned possible arms sales and North Korean military aid to support Russia's war in Ukraine.

North Korea provided infantry rockets and missiles to Russia in 2022, and Moscow has since been seeking further arms supplies since then to bolster its war efforts in Ukraine.

In the spring of 2023, Moscow reportedly approached Pyongyang with the offer of food supplies in exchange for weapons. North Korea has been heavily militarized since the end of the war with its Southern Korean neighbors in 1953 but suffers from chronic food shortages.

Earlier in August, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited North Korea's capital to convince the country's leadership to provide artillery ammunition that Russian forces could use in its war against Ukraine.

Putin, Kim meet at Russian cosmodrome ahead of expected arms talks
Russian President Vladimir Putin met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s far-eastern Amur Oblast for official talks, the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported on Sept. 13.
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