Russia and North Korea confirm Kim Jong Un will meet with Vladimir Putin

Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin will meet 'in the coming days'. Credit: AP

North Korea leader Kim Jong Un will visit Russia for a highly anticipated meeting with Vladimir Putin, both countries have confirmed.

A brief statement on the Kremlin's website said Kim's visit is at the Russian president's invitation and would take place "in the coming days". The visit was also reported by North Korea's official KCNA news agency.

Earlier on Monday, South Korean media reports had suggested that Kim left Pyongyang for Russia via train.

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Last week, US officials released intelligence that North Korea and Russia were arranging a meeting between their leaders, which would take place within September.

The meeting comes as both countries expand their cooperation in the face of deepening confrontations with the United States.

Putin could use the talks to focus on securing more supplies of North Korean artillery and ammunition to refill its own draining reserves, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine drags on.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Credit: AP

In exchange, Kim might seek food and energy aid, as well as advanced weapons technologies, analysts have speculated.

Although others believe the meeting between Kim and Putin will be more about symbolic gains than substantial military cooperation.

Any transfer of military technology to Pyongyang is likely to concern Western leaders as it would increase the threat posed by Kim's growing arsenal of weapons - including nuclear warheads and missiles.

Russia and North Korea have made efforts to grow relations since the former invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

The United States has accused North Korea of arming Russia in the conflict, including the mercenary group Wagner. Both countries have denied the claims.

Jon Finer, chief deputy national security adviser to US President Joe Biden, told reporters on Sunday that buying weapons from North Korea "may be the best and may be the only option" open to Moscow as it tries to keep its war effort going.

Putin could use the meeting to refill Russia's reserves of artillery and ammunition. Credit: AP

He said: "We have serious concerns about the prospect of North Korea potentially selling weapons, additional weapons, to the Russian military.

"It is interesting to reflect for a minute on what it says that when Russia goes around the world looking for partners that can help it, it lands on North Korea."

Speculation about North Korea and Russia's military cooperation has grown since the former's Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu, visited North Korea in July.

During the trip, Shoigu was invited to an arms exhibition and military parade, where Kim showcased the North's range of weapons.

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