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Kim Jong Un plans to meet Vladimir Putin in Russia, US official says

Washington – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin this month to discuss the possibility of supplying arms to Moscow in support of its ongoing war Ukrainea US official told CBS News.

Kim would meet Putin in Russia, but the exact location is unclear. The New York Times first reported the journey of the North Korean leader.

The possible meeting between Russian and North Korean leaders comes after the White House said it had new information that arms talks between the two countries were “actively progressing”. John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council told reporters On Wednesday, Russia’s defense minister reported that he recently traveled to North Korea to “try to convince Pyongyang to send artillery shells to Russia.” After the visit, Putin and Kim exchanged letters “in which they undertook to strengthen their bilateral cooperation.”

Kirby said information received from the US suggests that after Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s visit to North Korea, another group of Russian officials traveled to Pyongyang for further talks on a possible arms trade between the two countries.

FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un pose for a photo during their meeting in Vladivostok
Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un pose for a photo during their meeting in Vladivostok, Russia, April 25, 2019.

Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool via

“We urge the DPRK to halt its arms negotiations with Russia and to honor Pyongyang’s public commitments not to supply or sell arms to Russia,” Kirby said. He warned that the US will take direct action, including through the imposition of sanctions, against individuals and organizations working to facilitate arms shipments between Russia and North Korea.

Potential deals could include “significant quantities and multiple types” of munitions from North Korea, which Russia would use in its ongoing war against Ukraine, Kirby said. He warned that any arms deal between Moscow and Pyongyang would violate numerous UN Security Council resolutions.

“We will continue to identify, uncover and combat attempts by Russia to acquire military hardware from the DPRK or, frankly, from any other state willing to support its war in Ukraine,” Kirby said.

Citing Shoigu’s recent trip to North Korea to discuss Pyongyang’s sale of artillery munitions to Russia,

Adrienne Watson, spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said Monday that the US “has information that Kim Jong Un expects these talks to continue, including a senior-level diplomatic engagement in Russia.”

Both Russia and China sent high-level delegations to North Korea in July, marking the first visits by senior foreign officials since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020. During the trip, Kim Shoigu, Russia’s defense minister, gave a tour of North Korea’s arms and missile weapons exhibition, according to photos shared by North Korean media.

The latest warning that Pyongyang may be supplying arms to Russia comes almost a year after US officials warned that Russia’s Defense Ministry was involved Purchase of missiles and artillery shells by North Korea for the war in Ukraine, citing a recently downgraded US intelligence finding. Russia has it too used Iranian-made drones to target Ukrainian cities.

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