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Kim Jong Un ‘to meet Putin’ and broker weapons sales for Ukraine war use

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Any meeting could take place in the Pacific city of Vladivostok, which is relatively close to North Korea, and would come after Russia’s minister of defence visited Pyongyang in the summer for talks with Kim.

FILE: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, second right, and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, third right, visit an arms exhibition in Pyongyang, North Korea 26 July 2023

North Korean leader could soon visit Russia to meet Vladimir Putin and sell him weapons to use in the war in Ukraine.

A US official told journalists that they expect Kim to make the trip within the month, and although there’s no information yet where or when a meeting could take place the Pacific port city of Vladivostok would be a likely possibility given its relative proximity to North Korea.

America’s National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson noted Monday that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu traveled to Pyongyang recently and tried to persuade North Korea to sell artillery ammunition to Russia.

Watson said, “We have information that Kim Jong Un expects these discussions to continue, to include leader-level diplomatic engagement in Russia.”

She added that the US is urging North Korea “to cease its arms negotiations with Russia and abide by the public commitments that Pyongyang has made to not provide or sell arms to Russia.”

Shoigu said Monday that the two countries may hold joint war games.

The New York Times first reported that Kim planned to meet with Putin in Russia this month.

The White House said last week that it had intelligence indicating that Putin and Kim swapped letters following Shoigu’s visit.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the letters were “more at the surface level” but that Russian and North Korean talks on a weapons sale were advancing.

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