Kim Jong Un plans to travel to Russia this month to meet President Vladimir Putin and discuss the possibility of supplying Moscow with weapons for the war in Ukraine, as Russia says it is seeking closer military ties with North Korea.
In a rare trip abroad, Kim would travel from Pyongyang, probably by armored train, to Vladivostok, on the Pacific Coast of Russia, where he would meet Putin, the New York Times reported on Monday, citing US and allied sources.
While in Vladivostok, a port city not far from North Korea, the two leaders would discuss Kim’s sending Russia artillery shells and antitank missiles in exchange for Moscow’s advanced technology for satellites and nuclear-powered submarines, the newspaper reported.
At a time when the United States has expressed concern about growing military ties between the two countries, the news of Kim’s planned visit came after Russia said it was discussing holding joint military exercises with North Korea.
When asked about the possibility of joint exercises between the two countries, he said they were “of course” being discussed, it said.
South Korean news agency Yonhap earlier cited South Korea’s intelligence agency as saying Shoigu, who visited Pyongyang in July, had proposed to Kim that their countries hold a naval exercise, along with China.