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Washington: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un plans to travel to Russia this month to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the possibility of supplying weapons for the war in Ukraine, the New York Times reported on Monday, citing US and allied sources.
Kim would travel from Pyongyang, probably by armoured train, to Vladivostok, on the Pacific Coast of Russia, where he would meet with Putin, the newspaper said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un in Vladivostok in 2019.Credit: AP
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The planned trip would come as Russia discusses holding joint military exercises with North Korea and after Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu had tried on a visit to North Korea to convince Pyongyang to sell artillery ammunition to Russia.
The US has previously warned that North Korea could provide more weapons to Russia, whose forces invaded Ukraine in February 2022, a war that the United States and its European allies vehemently oppose and that Moscow calls a “special military operation”.
Kim Jong Un and Sergei Shoigu visit an exhibition of armed equipment on the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in July.Credit: KCNA
White House national security spokesman John Kirby said on August 30 that the United States was concerned that arms negotiations between the two countries were advancing actively.
When asked about the possibility of joint exercises between the two countries, Shoigu said they were “of course” being discussed, it said.
“Why not, these are our neighbours. There’s an old Russian saying: you don’t choose your neighbours and it’s better to live with your neighbours in peace and harmony,” Interfax news agency quoted Shoigu as saying.
South Korean news agency Yonhap earlier cited South Korea’s intelligence agency as saying Shoigu had proposed to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that their countries hold a naval exercise, along with China.
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