Russia to build on Putin-Kim agreements as North Korean minister visits Moscow

  • World
  • Monday, 15 Jan 2024

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un attend a meeting at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the far eastern Amur region, Russia, September 13, 2023 in this image released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency. KCNA via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin on Monday said Russia was developing relations with "our partner" North Korea in all areas and would build on agreements reached between their leaders when they met at a Russian space launch centre last year.

In September, President Vladimir Putin welcomed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to the Vostochny space launch facility in Russia's far east and promised to help North Korea build satellites.

"North Korea is our closest neighbour and partner, with whom we are developing and intend to further develop partnerships in all areas," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said as North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui began a visit to Moscow.

"The visit is a development of the agreements that were reached at the Vostochny cosmodrome when Kim visited it, and based on the results of the negotiations that he had with Putin. Dialogue at all levels will continue...We look forward to intense and fruitful negotiations."

Russia has stepped up ties with North Korea and other countries hostile to the United States such as Iran since the start of the war with Ukraine - relations that are a source of concern to the West.

The United States and Ukraine this month accused Russia of firing North Korean-supplied short-range ballistic missiles at Ukraine, something Russia declined to confirm or deny.

Peskov said Russia hoped a Putin visit to North Korea, at Kim's invitation, would take place "in the foreseeable future", but he said no date had yet been agreed.

(Reporting by Reuters, Writing by Mark Trevelyan, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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