Kremlin announces Putin’s state visit to North Korea will begin on Tuesday — Novaya Gazeta Europe
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Kremlin announces Putin’s state visit to North Korea will begin on Tuesday

Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok, Russia, 25 April 2019. Photo: EPA-EFE / ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO / POOL

Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok, Russia, 25 April 2019. Photo: EPA-EFE / ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO / POOL

A planned state visit by Vladimir Putin to North Korea, reports of which first appeared last week, is to begin on Tuesday, the Kremlin has announced.

“At the invitation of Kim Jong Un, president of the State Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, president of the Russian Federation, will pay a state visit to the DPRK from June 18 to 19,” the Kremlin announced on Monday.

Putin’s first visit to North Korea for 25 years follows an invitation to visit Pyongyang issued by the country’s dictator Kim Jong Un while he was on an official visit to the Russian Far East in September.

During Kim’s visit to Russia last year, Putin gave him a tour of Russia’s most advanced ballistic missile facility, while in recent months, North Korea has sent dozens of ballistic missiles to Russia, bolstering its dwindling supply of munitions for the war in Ukraine.

South Korean Defence Minister Shin Won Sik told Bloomberg News in an interview on Friday that the South Korean government had detected at least 10,000 shipping containers being sent from North Korea to Russia, potentially containing as many as 4.8 million artillery shells.

Putin last visited North Korea in 2000, meeting Kim Jong Un’s father, Kim Jong Il, in Pyongyang. However, since the war in Ukraine, ties between the two countries have become closer, with the isolated leaders both keen to obtain valuable weaponry for their respective militaries.

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