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Sep 15 – When Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin met at a cosmodrome in the country’s far east, Putin pledged that Moscow would assist North Korea in launching satellites. At the start of the meeting at the gleaming new space station, Vladimir Putin said, “The leader of the DPRK shows great interest in rocket engineering; they are also trying to develop space.” Kim Jong Un said it was North Korea’s unwavering position to further develop its long-standing friendship and ties with Russia.
“I find it an honour that the president has prepared an opportunity to meet at a special environment at the launch station which is the heart of your position as a space superpower and given us a deep understanding of the way forward,” Kim asserted.
In addition, the North Korean leader assured Vladimir Putin of his complete support in the “sacred fight” Moscow is fighting “against the hegemonic forces”—a reference to the conflict in Ukraine.
“We will always support the decisions of President Putin and the Russian leadership… and we will be together in the fight against imperialism,” Kim told Putin.
It was significant that they chose to meet at Vostochny Cosmodrome, a representation of Russia’s aspirations to become a space power. In the previous four months, North Korea attempted to launch reconnaissance satellites twice but failed. In addition to pushing his nuclear-armed nation to accelerate the development of ballistic missiles, drones, and submarines, Kim Jong Un has made it a high priority to launch a spy satellite.
Vladimir Putin was seen giving Kim a tour of the complex, which included the structure where the Angara, Russia’s latest space launch rocket, is being put together. According to Reuters, the 42.7-meter launcher sends payloads into low Earth orbit.
North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the ocean off its east coast from a location close to the capital Pyongyang just before the summit.
The two nations would collaborate in “sensitive” areas, including as military collaboration, according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, but it is not directed at other nations and they need not be concerned about Moscow’s relations with North Korea.