Kim Heads Home After Week-Long Visit To Russia
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is on his way home from Russia, ending a six-day trip that included talks with President Vladimir Putin on closer military and other cooperation, Russian news agencies reported.
A video published by Russia’s state-run RIA news agency on Sunday showed Kim walking along a red carpet to his train carriage in the Russian Far Eastern city of Artyom, and waving goodbye to the sounds of a military band.
The trip by the North Korean leader, who seldom leaves his country, signifies “a fresh heyday of friendship and solidarity and cooperation is being opened up in the history of the development of the relations between the DPRK and Russia,” North Korean state news agency KCNA said, using the initials for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow wanted to develop “equal and fair cooperation” with North Korea despite sanctions imposed on Pyongyang by the U.N. Security Council.
“We have not declared sanctions against North Korea, the Security Council did that. So appeal to the Security Council, and we will develop equal and fair cooperation with the DPRK,” Lavrov said in a State TV interview, excerpts of which were broadcast on Sunday.
The Kremlin earlier said it abides by U.N. sanctions, but that it has a right to develop neighbourly relations, including in relation to sensitive topics.
The United States and its allies worry about warming military ties between the two neighbours as Russia presses its invasion of Ukraine and North Korea, a reclusive Communist State, proceeds with missile and nuclear development.
South Korea and the United States say military cooperation between North Korea and Russia would violate U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang and that the allies would ensure there was a price to pay.
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol called such a military partnership “illegal and unjust”, saying the international community would “unite more tightly” to cope with deepening ties between Moscow and Pyongyang, in written responses to the Associated Press on Sunday.