Putin and Kim Jong Un plan to meet to talk military cooperation: officials

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are set to meet this month to discuss plans on military cooperation between the two countries.

Sources told the New York Times on Monday that Kim plans to travel to Russia, where both leaders are scheduled to attend the Eastern Economic Forum at the Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok. The forum is scheduled to run from Sept. 10 to 13.

Putin hopes the North Korea strongman can agree to send artillery shells and antitank missiles to Russia. In contrast, Kim wants Russia to provide his country with advanced technology for satellites and nuclear-powered submarines and food aid as well.

Kim also has plans to visit Pier 33, where naval ships from Russia’s Pacific fleet dock, according to the Times.

Officials also said that a delegation of at least 20 North Korean officials traveled to Russia late last month, saying that this is an indication from Kim that his country is serious about conducting a meeting with Russia.

According to a Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) report in June, Kim also sent Putin a message on Russia’s national day, in which he pledged to hold hands with him. He promised that his country will show its full support and solidarity to the Russian people.

This comes as U.S. officials have warned about the potential cooperation between Russia and North Korea, citing that Russia’s purpose in the meeting is to purchase artillery shells to use in its ongoing war in Ukraine.

National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson told the Times that North Korea should cease its discussions on the matter.

“We urge the D.P.R.K. to cease its arms negotiations with Russia and abide by the public commitments that Pyongyang has made to not provide or sell arms to Russia,” Watson said.

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