Putin has ‘accepted’ Kim Jong Un’s invite to visit North Korea, state media says
North Korea is claiming that Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted “with pleasure” an invite from Kim Jong Un to visit his country.
The invitation reportedly was offered by the North Korean dictator as the two met at the Vostochny Cosmodrome space launch facility in Russia’s far east on Wednesday.
“At the end of the reception, Kim Jong Un courteously invited Putin to visit the DPRK at a convenient time,” the Korean Central News Agency announced Thursday, according to the website KCNA Watch.
“Putin accepted the invitation with pleasure and reaffirmed his will to invariably carry forward the history and tradition of the Russia-DPRK friendship,” it added.
The Kremlin has not yet confirmed the development, Reuters reports.
The Korean Central News Agency also reported that Kim left his autograph in the visitor’s book at the space facility, writing, “The glory of Russia that produced the first conquerors of space will be immortal. Kim Jong Un 2023. 9. 13”
“The historic meeting and talks between Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin serve as an epoch-making event that put the traditional and strategic DPRK-Russia friendship, cooperation and good neighborly relations on a new higher level and powerfully encouraged the just struggle for accomplishing the cause of independence against imperialism,” it also reported, according to KNCA Watch.
During the meeting Wednesday, Kim pledged his full support for Putin’s “sacred struggle” against Ukraine.
Putin is seeking further support for his war in Ukraine as military resources are stretched thin, while Kim’s regime is pushing for assistance with its space program and economy.
“Russia is now rising to the sacred struggle to defend its state sovereignty and protect its security,” Kim told the Russian leader in words released by the Kremlin in a video reported by the Washington Post. “We have always supported and stand by all decisions of President Putin and the Russian government. I hope that we will always stand together in the fight against imperialism.”
A South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson told the Associated Press on Thursday, “We express our deep concern and regret that despite repeated warnings from the international community, North Korea and Russia discussed military cooperation issues, including satellite development, during their summit.”
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom and Elizabeth Pritchett contributed to this report.