National

Kim boards armoured train home after Russia trip

Sep 18, 2023

Moscow [Russia], September 18: North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un has ended his visit to the Russian Far East by boarding his armoured train in the city of Artyom, located north of the port of Vladivostok, and embarking on the long trip home, state-run media in Russia reported on Sunday.
Video showed Kim being seen off with the national anthems of both North Korea and Russia. From the Artyom station it is about 250km south to the border. Kim very rarely leaves North Korea and when he does, he travels by armoured train.
The supreme leader spent six days in Russia and held headline-grabbing talks with President Vladimir Putin at the Vostochny spaceport.
The two autocrats emphasized their willingness to deepen cooperation in matters of technology and the military.
Kremlin watchers suspect Putin asked Kim for weapons assistance - specifically artillery shells and anti-tank weapons - to continue his war against Ukraine.
Kim expressed his conviction of a Russian victory at the meeting. Afterwards, Kim toured Russia's Far East and was shown defence plants and military facilities. In Komsomolsk-on-Amur he toured aircraft factories and saw Russia's newest fighter jet, the Su-57, up close.
In the Primorye region around Vladivostok, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu showed him the hypersonic Kinzhal missile and a frigate with the Pacific Fleet.
As he left, the governor of the far eastern Russian region of Primorye gave him a bulletproof vest and a set of drones, Russian state media TASS reported. "This is a body armour with protection zones for the chest, shoulders, throat and groin, and it is much lighter than its known analogs," the state news agency added.
Kim was also presented with five kamikaze drones produced in the same region, as well as a Geranium-25 aircraft-type reconnaissance drone, TASS added. A set of special clothing that is invisible to thermal imaging cameras was an additional gift.
Kim and Putin met in Russia's Far East on Wednesday and engaged in a five-hour long meeting at VostochnyCosmodrom spaceport, in which Putin said Kim showed "great interest" - North Korea has made space technology a priority.
Kim offered his support for Putin after their talks, saying "I will always be standing with Russia." Putin described their discussions as "very substantive." In the backdrop of the meeting was the US government's warning from earlier in the month that arms negotiations were "actively advancing" between the two countries. No deals have been publicly announced.
Source: Qatar Tribune