Putin accepts Kim's invitation to DPRK following historic meeting
Both leaders have expressed their desire to strengthen bilateral cooperation on multiple levels during the high-level talks at the Vostochny Cosmodrome.
The leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Kim Jong Un, has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Pyongyang as the two wrapped up their meeting at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia's far-east, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Thursday.
"Putin accepted the invitation with pleasure and reaffirmed his will to invariably carry forward the history and tradition of the Russia-DPRK friendship," KCNA reported.
The two leaders held high-level talks on Wednesday after the DPRK leader arrived at the Russian spaceport via an armored train. The meeting was attended by a number of top officials which included Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, according to DPRK's state media.
During a televised interview for Russia-1 channel, Lavrov emphasized the commitment of both nations to establishing a mutually beneficial cooperation shielded from unlawful Western influence.
"We and North Korea will develop, as confirmed by our leaders today, a mutually beneficial cooperation not susceptible to illegal Western pressure," Lavrov stated.
Negotiations between the two delegations, lasting approximately six hours, included a four-hour head-to-head discussion between the two leaders. This visit marks Kim Jong Un's second trip to Russia, with his previous visit taking place in 2019.
Putin took special note of the timing of the meeting which takes place on the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, reiterating during his introductory speech that Pyongyang is a "priority" for Moscow.
Bolstering bilateral ties
The Vostochny Cosmodrome holds significant importance as Moscow plans to help the DPRK with its satellite program, RIA Novosti quoted Putin as saying.
"The leader of the DPRK shows great interest in rocket technology, and they are trying to develop (their presence in) space," Putin said.
When asked by reporters whether military cooperation would be on the agenda, Putin's answer was, "We'll talk about all the issues, without haste. There is time."
During the discussions, Kim Jong Un expressed keen interest in exploring various areas of cooperation with Russia.
"Our friendship has deep roots, and now relations with the Russian Federation are the first priority for our country. I am sure that our meeting will be the next step to take relations to a new level," Kim stressed.
Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, who also attended the talks, elaborated on the topics covered during the meeting. He explained that the DPRK side was interested in all areas of cooperation saying that Putin spoke about transport capabilities. Kim also was keenly interested in forging partnerships in health, education, and other humanitarian fields, underscoring the multifaceted nature of the discussions.
On this note, KCNA said that Kim "expressed his will to work out a far-reaching plan for the DPRK-Russia relations in the new era, stable and future-oriented, together with Putin, and to dynamically promote the powerful nation-building cause in the two countries and realize genuine international justice under the plan."