Vladimir Putin to visit North Korea

(Seoul) Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to visit North Korea at the invitation of its leader Kim Jong-un, the official North Korean agency KCNA reported on Thursday.

At the end of a meeting between the two men on Wednesday in Russia, “Kim Jong-un courteously invited Putin to visit the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Editor’s note) when it suits him,” according to KCNA, using the official name of North Korea. “Putin happily accepted the invitation and reaffirmed his unwavering desire to continue to advance the history and tradition of Russia-DPRK friendship,” the agency said.

That same day, Kim Jong-un assured Vladimir Putin that Moscow would achieve a “great victory” over its enemies, Russia having been engaged in a war in Ukraine for more than a year and a half.

Mr. Putin toasted the “future strengthening of cooperation” with Pyongyang, speaking to the press about “prospects” of military cooperation with North Korea despite international sanctions targeting the reclusive country because of its nuclear programs and its missiles in development.

The United States expressed “concern” that Russia was interested in purchasing North Korean munitions to support its invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian president also raised the possibility of Russia helping Pyongyang build satellites, after North Korea recently failed twice to put a military spy satellite into orbit.

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