Kim Jong Un offers 'full' support for Russia's 'sacred fight' during Vladimir Putin meeting

Kim Jong Un last visited Russia four years ago. Credit: AP

North Korea leader Kim Jong Un has pledged his "full and unconditional support" for Russia's "sacred fight" to defend its security interests after meeting with Vladimir Putin.

The remarks were interpreted as a reference to Russia's continued invasion of Ukraine.

Kim was hosted by the Russian president at the Vostochny Cosmodrome - a remote rocket launch facility in Siberia - on Wednesday, as the two countries looked to consolidate relations in the wake of growing confrontations with the United States.

The North Korean leader had arrived in Russia on Tuesday via his personal armoured train.

ITV News Asia Correspondent Debi Edward analyses the meeting between the leaders of Russia and North Korea

Putin used his opening comments to welcome Kim, saying he was glad to see him in person.

During their meeting, the pair toured the Cosmodrome before later convening together one-on-one, according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.

Hours before arriving in Siberia, North Korea test-fired two ballistic missiles, in a move which was confirmed by neighbouring Japan and South Korea.

The decision to meet at the rocket launch facility suggests that Kim is seeking Russian technical assistance for his efforts to develop military reconnaissance satellites.

Kim Jong Un arrived in Russia via his personal armoured train. Credit: AP

Kim has previously described their development as crucial in enhancing the threat of North Korea's nuclear-capable missiles.

As of yet, the country has failed to put its first military spy satellite into orbit.

Official photos showed that Kim was accompanied by Pak Thae Song, chairman of North Korea's space science and technology committee, and navy Admiral Kim Myong Sik. 

Both men are linked with North Korean efforts to acquire spy satellites and nuclear-capable ballistic missile submarines, according to South Korea's Unification Ministry.

Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un examine a rocket assembly hangar, during their meeting at the Vostochny Cosmodrome. Credit: AP

Asked whether Russia will help North Korea build satellites, Putin was quoted by Russian state media as saying "that's why we have come here".

Analysts have speculated that Putin could use the meeting to refill Russia's dwindling reserves of artillery and ammunition, as its invasion of Ukraine drags on.

Pyongyang could provide Moscow with tens of millions of ageing artillery shells and rockets based on Soviet designs.

But any arms deal between the two nations would violate international sanctions that Russia has previously supported.

Vladimir Putin is expected to ask Kim Jong Un for reserves of artillery and ammunition. Credit: AP

Kim, meanwhile, said his decision to visit Russia four years after his previous visit showed how Pyongyang is "prioritising the strategic importance" of its relations with Moscow, North Korea's official news agency said.

He is expected to seek economic aid as well as military technology.

Lim Soo-suk, South Korea's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said Seoul was maintaining communication with Moscow while closely monitoring Kim's visit.

"No UN [United Nations] member state should violate Security Council sanctions against North Korea by engaging in an illegal trade of arms, and must certainly not engage in military cooperation with North Korea that undermines the peace and stability of the international community," he said.

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