Vladimir Putin greets Kim Jong Un with handshake before planned meeting in Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin greeted North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un in the eastern Amur region early Wednesday. (CREDIT: AP/RTV)
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un pledged his full support for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “sacred struggle” against Ukraine on Wednesday.
Putin hosted Kim for a rare summit at a space facility in Russia’s far east on Wednesday, the first such meeting in four years. Putin seeks 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 its desiccated 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.”
Putin also greeted Kim with warm words, vowing firmer economic ties for the next 75 years and noting that “It was our country that was the first to recognize the sovereign, independent state of the DPRK,” referring to North Korea’s formal title of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin (C-L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C-R) inspect the Russian spaceport Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Amur region in the Far East. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said on Wednesday that relations with Russia are ‘the very first priority’ for his country. Putin and Kim then visited several facilities of the cosmodrome and also examined the construction of the new infrastructure. (Getty)
Putin and Kim’s regimes have become isolated from the global community, with waves of sanctions devastating their economies and leaving few opportunities for other partnerships.
North Korea is not the first malign actor Russia has turned to in its effort to refill its arms supplies. Putin has also purchased missiles and explosive drones from Iran, in addition to other supplies.
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Meanwhile, the U.S. has warned that any arms deal between North Korea and Russia would violate U.N. Security Council resolutions that Russia itself voted to approve. Any deal would likely focus on artillery shells and ammunition.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hand with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (L) ahead of their first summit in four years. (getty)
“Arms discussions between Russia and the DPRK are expected to continue during Kim Jong Un’s trip to Russia,” White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said Tuesday. “We urge the DPRK to abide by the public commitments that Pyongyang has made to not provide or sell arms to Russia.”
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Kim’s regime continued its months-long show of force even in its leader’s absence, launching two ballistic missiles into the sea hours before the meeting.
Fox News’ Elizabeth Pritchett contributed to this report.
Anders Hagstrom is a reporter with Fox News Digital covering national politics and major breaking news events. Send tips to [email protected], or on Twitter: @Hagstrom_Anders.