Kim Jong Un arrived in Russia Wednesday for his highly anticipated meeting with Vladimir Putin. This was the first time the notorious leaders had met in four years. While the intention of the summit was initially unclear, Putin reported afterward that military support was the primary topic of discussion.
Before entering the launch vehicle assembly building at Russia’s Vostochny spaceport, the North Korean leader expressed his loyalty to the Russian president and his endorsement of the invasion of Ukraine.
“We have always supported and stand by all decisions of President Putin and the Russian government.” Kim continued, “Russia is now rising to the sacred struggle to defend its state sovereignty and protect its security.”
He vowed that North Korea would “always stand with Russia in the fight against imperialism” and that they view their relationship with Russia as a “first priority.”
Rumors circulated globally that there would be talks of arms sales at this meeting. The US was quick to vocalize its concern.
Air Force Brig. General Pat Ryder stated in a press conference Tuesday: “We would call on North Korea to meet its previous stated public commitments not to supply weapons to Russia, which will only end up prolonging the unnecessary war in Ukraine.”
When directly asked by reporters, Putin said that “all the questions would be addressed” before adding that Kim was interested in “rocket technology” and suggested he could help him in his endeavors to “develop space.”
He insisted that Russia was looking to deepen military alliances with North Korea “within the framework of the current rules,” adding “There are certain restrictions, and Russia abides by them.”