September 29, 2023

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Kim Jong Un receives gifts of bulletproof vests and drones when leaving Russia

Kim Jong Un receives gifts of bulletproof vests and drones when leaving Russia

(CNN) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un received farewell gifts of bulletproof vests and drones at the end of a trip to Russia, raising alarm in the West.

The farewell was the culmination of a six-day trip in which he held talks with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, and raised the possibility of North Korea supplying Russia with weapons to help it invade Ukraine.

Kim travels abroad sparingly and has been received with great attention, devoting much of the trip to visiting military installations. North Korea is heavily embargoed and needs everything from energy and food to military technology.

Upon his departure, the governor of Primorye, a Russian region in the country’s east, presented him with bulletproof clothing and a package of drones, Russian state media TASS reported.

“It is a bulletproof vest with protection zones for the chest, shoulders, throat and waist, and is much lighter than its known analogues,” the state news agency added.

Kim was also given five kamikaze drones manufactured in the same region, as well as a Geranium-25 aircraft-type reconnaissance drone, Doss added. An added bonus was a special garment that made it invisible to thermal imaging cameras.

Kim Jong Un spoke on Saturday about military cooperation with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. (Credit: Russian Defense Ministry/Manual/Reuters)

Following a farewell ceremony that included a red carpet and honor guards, Kim was seen boarding his private armored train, waving from Russian officials and departing from Artem train station, as seen in a video released by the state news agency. Russian RIA Novosti.

The train is expected to travel 200 kilometers (124 miles) from Artyom to the border city of Kazan, RIA said.

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Military-centric travel

Kim and Putin met in the Russian Far East this Wednesday for a five-hour meeting at the Vostochny Cosmodrome space station, in which Putin said Kim was “extremely interested” in North Korea’s prioritization of space technology.

Kim offered his support to Putin after their talks, saying: “I will always stand with Russia.” Putin described their talks as “very substantial”.

The US government warned earlier this month that arms talks between the two countries were “advancing significantly” in the wake of the meeting. No deal has been publicly announced.

Russian President Vladimir Putin described his Wednesday meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as “very important.” (Credit: Vladimir Smirnov/Sputnik/AP)

The North Korean leader visited an aircraft manufacturing plant in the eastern Russian city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur on Friday. (Credit: KCNA/Reuters)

After visiting Yuri Gagarin Airport in Komsomolsk-on-Amur on Friday, Kim was “deeply impressed” by the Russian aviation industry, according to North Korea’s state news agency KCNA. Kim visited several facilities, including the fighter’s fuselage assembly workshop and wing manufacturing workshop.

On Saturday, he inspected fighter jets, toured an airfield with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, and visited a Pacific Fleet warship with the commander of the Russian Navy.

According to KCNA, Kim and Shoigu discussed military cooperation “between the two countries’ armed forces and between their national security and defense departments.”

South Korea, Japan, Ukraine, the United States and European countries have been alarmed by the arrival, but what it will be has not yet been fully revealed.