SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean chief Kim Jong Un has returned house from a visit to Russia the place he deepened “comradely fellowship and pleasant ties” with President Vladimir Putin, state media reported.

Throughout Kim’s six-day journey to Russia, his longest overseas journey as a frontrunner, the 2 nations mentioned they mentioned boosting their protection ties however didn’t disclose any particular steps. International specialists speculate the 2 nations, each locked in confrontations with the West, had been pushing to succeed in arms switch offers in violation of U.N. Safety Council resolutions.

The official Korean Central Information Company in separate experiences mentioned Kim’s practice crossed a border river on Monday morning and Kim was greeted by the “ardent” cheers of an enormous crowd at a Pyongyang rail station Tuesday night. Wednesday’s KNCA report mentioned senior North Korean officers congratulated him on advancing relations with Russia.

Earlier than touring to Russia, Kim made a number of visits to his munitions factories, triggering hypothesis that he supposed to examine on productions of arms to be shipped to Russia.

Whereas touring by means of Russia’s far japanese area, Kim met Putin at Russia’s most necessary area launch middle earlier than visiting navy websites to see a few of Russia’s most superior weapons methods similar to nuclear-capable bombers, fighter jets and hypersonic missiles.

In dwell feedback throughout their assembly final week, Kim supplied “full and unconditional assist” to Putin. KCNA later mentioned Kim and Russian Protection Minister Sergei Shoigu additionally met and mentioned increasing “strategic and tactical coordination” between the nations’ armed forces.

Many outdoors specialists say Kim would provide ammunition to refill Russia’s drained stock within the second 12 months of the battle in Ukraine in return for receiving Russian applied sciences to modernize his nuclear weapons arsenals. U.S. and South Korean officers have warned that Russia and North Korea would face penalties in the event that they go forward with such weapons transfers offers in violation of U.N. Safety Council resolutions.

Different specialists say Kim would find yourself getting meals and financial assist as a result of Russia is reluctant to share its delicate, high-tech weapons applied sciences with different nations.

South Korean Vice International Minister Chang Ho-jin on Tuesday summoned the Russian ambassador to Seoul, Andrey Kulik, and urged Moscow to instantly cease its navy cooperation with North Korea, which he mentioned would have a “very detrimental impression” on its relations with the South. Kulik mentioned he would convey Seoul’s considerations to his authorities, the South Korean ministry mentioned in an announcement.

Kim has been pushing laborious to bolster his nuclear arsenal citing what he referred to as intensifying U.S. navy threats. Analysts say Kim would goal to make use of his enlarged arsenal to win larger concessions from the U.S. whereas boosting his navy credentials at house within the face of financial hardships deepened over the COVID-19 pandemic.


AP author Kim Tong-hyung contributed to this report.


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