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Kim Jong Un is expected to meet Vladimir Putin while Russia seeks to buy North Korean weapons to help Ukraine’s election campaign

According to a US official, Kim Jong Un could travel to Russia to meet President Vladimir Putin.

The North Korean According to the unnamed source, the leader could make the trip as early as this month, with the port city of Vladivostok near the border between the two countries being seen as a possible rendezvous point.

The US claims the Kremlin is trying to procure military equipment for its war in Ukraine.

National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said on Monday Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu traveled to the North Korean capital Pyongyang last month.

Mr Shoigu is believed to have been trying to persuade North Korea – one of the most militarized countries in the world – to sell artillery ammunition to Russia.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (right) and Russian Minister Sergei Shoigu Pic:AP
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (right) and Russian Minister Sergei Shoigu Pic:AP

Ms Watson said: “We have information that Kim Jong Un expects these talks to continue and also include senior-level diplomatic engagement in Russia.”

She added that the US is calling on North Korea to “stop its arms talks with Russia and honor Pyongyang’s public pledges not to supply or sell arms to Russia.”

This comes after Mr Shoigu also said on Monday that Russia and North Korea could hold joint war games.

“Why not, these are our neighbors,” Russian news agency Interfax quoted Mr Shoigu as saying.

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“There’s an old Russian proverb: ‘You don’t choose your neighbors, and it’s better to live in peace and harmony with your neighbors’.”

When asked about the possibility of joint exercises between the two countries, he replied that these would “of course” be discussed, the agency said.

North Korea has previously denied any “arms deals” with Russia, but the US has imposed sanctions on three companies it accuses of being involved in arms deals between the two countries.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Korean People's Army (KPA) General Staff Training Center at an undisclosed location in North Korea. Image: KCNA/Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the training center of the General Staff Department of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) Credit: KCNA/Reuters

The White House also said last week it had information that suggested Putin and Kim exchanged letters after Mr. Shoigu’s visit.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the letters were “rather superficial” but talks between Russia and North Korea over an arms sale were moving forward.

Mr Kim and Mr Putin previously met in Russia on a visit to Vladivostok in 2019, while Mr Shoigu visited the North Korean leader in Pyongyang in July to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War – celebrated in North Korea as “Victory Day”. .

According to the New York Times, which first reported the possibility of a meeting between Mr Putin and Mr Kim, in exchange for artillery shells and anti-tank missiles, North Korea could be looking for advanced technology to support its satellite and nuclear submarine programs.

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