North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin Hold Summit Meeting
Russian Space Center Chosen as Venue
In a notable development, North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin recently met for their first summit in over four years and five months. The summit, held at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East Amur Region, has garnered international attention due to concerns that it goes against United Nations Security Council resolutions. However, both leaders expressed their willingness to cooperate in various fields, including military and economics.
According to reports by Russian media, the summit took place on the 13th of this month at 2:25pm local time. Chairman Kim, in his opening remarks, emphasized the importance of Russia’s struggle to defend its sovereignty and security against hegemonic forces. He expressed his unwavering support for President Putin and praised Russia’s leadership. The North Korean Chairman stated that the meeting would elevate the relationship between the two countries to a new level.
President Putin, recognizing the significance of the occasion, highlighted the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between North Korea and Russia, as well as the North Korean system’s establishment. He stressed the need for clear discussions on economic cooperation, humanitarian issues, and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Analysts have suggested that the meeting could lead to a potential exchange of support, with North Korea potentially providing arms to Russia amid its conflict with Ukraine, while Russia may provide food and energy aid to North Korea in light of its economic difficulties.
Focus on Military and Space Cooperation
The leaders held an extended meeting with their respective delegations for approximately an hour and a half, followed by a one-to-one meeting for about 30 minutes. Discussions included various topics such as political, economic, and cultural cooperation.
President Putin, while touring the Vostochny Cosmodrome with Chairman Kim, expressed his willingness to cooperate with North Korea in the space and military fields. He acknowledged North Korea’s interest in rocket technology and space development, indicating potential collaboration in these areas.
Experts have noted that the choice of the Vostochny Cosmodrome as the meeting venue holds symbolic significance. It represents a display of advanced military technologies, potentially signaling a united front against the Western world, including the United States, which has imposed strong sanctions on both nations.
Caution Amid Concerns of Violating Sanctions
The international community remains cautious, with concerns that the main agenda of the summit may involve military cooperation, such as arms trade, in violation of United Nations Security Council sanctions against North Korea.
However, experts argue that President Putin’s statement regarding assistance in satellite development is aimed at protecting North Korea’s right to peaceful use of space rather than transferring advanced technology for strategic weapons. This approach helps avoid potential violations of UN Security Council sanctions, such as arms, energy, or food exchanges.
Despite these concerns, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reiterated that UN sanctions would not hinder the development of the North Korea-Russia relationship. Peskov stressed that cooperation between the two countries is beneficial and should not concern third parties.
The Kim-Putin summit marks a significant diplomatic event after a prolonged gap. The choice of the Vostochny Cosmodrome as the venue, along with discussions on military and space cooperation, holds implications for regional dynamics and the relationship between North Korea, Russia, and the international community.
Reporting from Seoul, this is Kim Hwan-yong for VOA News.
North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin held their first summit meeting in four years and five months at a Russian space center. Despite warnings from the international community that this is contrary to the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, they showed their willingness to cooperate in various fields, including military and economics. Correspondent Kim Hwan-yong reports from Seoul.
Russian media, including the TASS news agency, reported that the summit between North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin was held at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East Amur Region at 2:25 pm local time on the 13th.
In his opening remarks at the summit, Chairman Kim said, “Russia has embarked on a holy struggle to defend its sovereignty and security against hegemonic forces opposed to Russia.”
He added, “I have always fully supported the decisions of President Putin and the leadership of Russia,” and promised, “We will always be together in the fight against imperialism and in building a sovereign nation.”
Chairman Kim said that the two countries have a long-standing friendly relationship, including the contribution of the former Soviet Union to the establishment of the North Korean regime, and he emphasized, “North Korea’s main priority is still its relationship with Russia, and this meeting will elevate it. the relationship between the two countries to a new level.”
“We have a very big agenda, including political, economic and cultural,” he said.
In response, President Putin said that the meeting between the leaders was held at a very special time, remembering that this year is the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between North Korea and Russia and the 75th anniversary of the establishment of North Korea. system.
He also said, “The two countries need to talk clearly about economic cooperation, humanitarian issues, and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.”
Lim Chul, a professor at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of Kyungnam University of Korea, analyzed that considering the comments of the two leaders, there is a greater possibility of North Korea’s arms support to Russia, which is at war with Ukraine, and Russia’s food and energy support. to North Korea, which is experiencing economic difficulties, is exchanged. .
[녹취: 임을출 교수] “The possibility of North Korea providing weapons to Russia appears to have increased significantly, and appears to indicate the possibility of economic cooperation and humanitarian support as commensurate compensation. “It is assessed that a foundation is being created for military cooperation between North Korea and Russia to develop to a new level.”
The two leaders held an extended meeting attended by the delegations of both countries for about an hour and a half, and then there was a one-to-one meeting for about 30 minutes with only a translator present. Then we had lunch together.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “We will not sign any documents, including the joint statement, after the summit.”
Before the start of the meeting, President Putin toured the main facilities of the Vostochny Cosmodrome with Chairman Kim and introduced Russian space science and technology.
Initially, when Chairman Kim entered Russia on a private train, it was predicted that Vladivostok would be the likely location for the summit, but this expectation was reversed by the leaders of both countries and the Vostochny Cosmodrome was chosen as the location of the meeting.
Before entering the Vostochny Cosmodrome facility, President Putin answered questions from reporters and expressed his intention to actively cooperate with North Korea in the space and military fields.
When asked if Russia would help North Korea build a satellite, President Putin responded, “This is why we came here, and the North Korean leader is very interested in rocket technology and they are trying to develop space.”
Also, in response to the question, “Will the issue of military technology cooperation be discussed at the meeting?”, he said, “We will talk about all the issues without rushing, and there is time.”
Chairman Kim is said to have shown particular interest in the characteristics of rocket fuel and the propulsion principle of launch vehicles as he toured the facility with the accompanying North Korean delegation.
Dr Cho Han-beom of the Korea National Institute of Unification, a national research institute under the South Korean government, said that North Korea and Russia’s choice of the Vostochny Cosmodrome as a meeting venue suggests a counterattack against the Western world, including the United. States, which impose strong sanctions on them.
Dr. Cho explains that Vostochny Cosmodrome is a symbol of various advanced military technologies beyond the peaceful use and development of space.
[녹취: 조한범 박사] “What Vostochini intends is to symbolize cooperation in advanced technologies, especially ICBMs, rockets and nuclear weapons. So, if the West crosses the line in the Ukraine war, it arms North Korea, and if North Korea arms itself, it is possible to attack the US mainland. “Also, from the perspective of Chairman Kim Jong-un, it symbolizes that if there is no concession from the United States, he will accelerate the development of nuclear capabilities and advanced weapons.”
The international community is concerned that the main agenda of this North Korea-Russia summit was plans for military cooperation, such as arms trade, which violates the United Nations Security Council sanctions against North Korea.
Park Won-gon, a professor of North Korean studies at Ewha Womans University, said that President Putin’s statement that he would help North Korea develop a satellite was an extension of Russia’s current position of protecting North Korea’s right to peaceful use of space, and its be I will not transfer the advanced technology needed to develop strategic weapons to North Korea.
Professor Park said the comments could have been made to avoid violations of UN Security Council sanctions, such as the exchange of arms, energy, and food with North Korea.
[녹취: 박원곤 교수] “The provision of ammunition is a clear violation of the UN sanctions resolutions and it is an action that can cause very serious problems not only in Europe and NATO but also around the world, so in order to digress a little, we can talk about it by turning to . this space.”
Regarding this, Kremlin spokesman Peskov said in an interview with local broadcaster Rossiya, “UN sanctions against North Korea will not be an obstacle to the development of North Korea-Russia relations.”
Spokesman Peskov said, “Russia and North Korea cooperate for the benefit of both peoples, and the relationship between the two countries should not become a concern for third countries.” He added, “North Korea and Russia will strengthen cooperation in the fields of technical and security cooperation.” “It was revealed.
This is the first summit meeting between Chairman Kim and President Putin for approximately four years and five months.
It is reported that Chairman Kim will visit the Sukhoi fighter jet production plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, an industrial city in the Khabarovsk Region, during his visit to Russia.
This is Kim Hwan-yong from VOA News in Seoul.
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