Kim Jong Un Putin North Korea

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday the geopolitical climate had changed completely since the United Nations imposed sanctions on North Korea, and he accused the West of breaking pledges on humanitarian support for Pyongyang.

A Reuters report said:

Lavrov was speaking to a Russian TV reporter as Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a summit in Russia’s far east. Since 2006 North Korea has been under U.N. sanctions, which Russia supported, over its banned nuclear weapons and missile programs.

“Sanctions against North Korea were adopted in a completely different geopolitical situation when there were problems establishing dialogue (with Pyongyang), when there were quite serious debates in the Security Council,” Lavrov told Russian TV reporter Pavel Zarubin. Situation has changed since North Korea was hit by UN sanctions, said Lavrov.

Russians, Chinese and North Koreans Were Deceived

Lavrov said the reason that Russia and China had blocked a further U.S.-drafted sanctions resolution against North Korea last year was that the West had given a false promise at the time of the original sanctions on humanitarian aid for the country.

“That was another lie. We, the Chinese and the North Koreans were deceived,” Lavrov said.

In a separate clip posted by Zarubin on social media, the reporter raised the sanctions issue again with Lavrov and asked him to comment on Western media reports that the Putin-Kim meeting could lead to Russia supplying arms to North Korea, or vice versa.

The Reuters report said:

Lavrov did not reply directly, but said the West had broken contractual agreements by providing Soviet-era weaponry to Ukraine – a reference to arms supplied to Kyiv by central and eastern European countries which once belonged to the Moscow-led Warsaw Pact but which are now members of NATO.

Lavrov said this violated “every possible contractual obligation” because the weapons had been originally supplied by Moscow with end-user certificates that prevented them from being transferred to third parties.

Lavrov’s assertion that sanctions on North Korea were the product of a different global situation and of bad faith from untrustworthy Western powers were significant at a moment when Russia’s own adherence to them is under close scrutiny.

Earlier, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia maintained its commitments as a member of the U.N. Security Council but this would not be an obstacle to developing its relations with North Korea.

What Putin And Kim Said

Another Reuters report said:

Russian President Putin met North Korean leader Kim on Wednesday exchanged opening greetings in front of the media, with Kim speaking via a Russian interpreter.

Here is a Reuters translation of their remarks.

Putin:

“Dear Mr. Chairman! I am very glad to see and welcome you again in Russia – this time, as we agreed, at our Vostochny cosmodrome.

“We are proud of how this sector is developing here, and this is our new facility. I hope both you and your colleagues find this interesting.

“Our meeting is taking place at a very special time, after all. Most recently, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea celebrated 75 years of its creation and foundation. 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries. Let me remind you that it was our country that was the first to recognize the sovereign independent state – the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“Then very soon we will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of the War of independence and the victory of the Korean people in this war. This is a landmark date, because our country also helped our friends in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to fight for this independence.

“We, of course, need to talk about questions of economic cooperation and questions of a humanitarian nature. We have a lot of questions. I want to say that I am very glad to see you. Thank you for accepting the invitation and coming to Russia.”

When reporters earlier asked Putin whether Russia would help Kim build satellites, he replied: “That’s why we came here. The leader of the DPRK shows great interest in rocket engineering; they are also trying to develop space.”

Kim:

“I express my gratitude to you for paying such attention to our visit to Russia.

“The Soviet Union played a very big role in the liberation of our country.

“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.

“Russia has risen to a sacred fight to protect its sovereignty and security against the hegemonic forces,” Kim told Putin via a translator.

“We will always support the decisions of President Putin and the Russian leadership… and we will be together in the fight against imperialism.”

Kim wrote in a visitor book: “The glory to Russia, which gave birth to the first space conquerors, will be immortal.”

Key Takeaways From Putin-Kim Talks

Another media report said:

Russian President Putin has met North Korean leader Kim at the Vostochny Cosmodrome near the town of Tsiolkovsky in the Russian Far East’s Amur region to discuss a number of pressing issues, including those related to bilateral cooperation, as well as regional and global security.

The two leaders conducted negotiations on Wednesday both as part of their countries’ delegations and in a face-to-face format, in a meeting that lasted a total of about six hours.

“Thank you for inviting us, despite your tight schedule,” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told Russian President Vladimir Putin before the two started the tour of the Soyuz-2 space launch facility ahead of the negotiations.

During the tour, Kim was briefed on the characteristics of the Russian-made Soyuz-2 and the Angara rockets, among other things. He notably left a short entry in the book of honorary guests of the cosmodrome, writing, “The glory of Russia, which gave birth to the first space explorers, will be immortal.”

Putin, for his part, noted that the Vostochny Cosmodrome was an unusual venue for his meeting with Kim.

“We are proud of the development of our space industry, and this facility is new for us. I hope that you and your colleagues are interested in it,” the Russian president said.

He also recalled several memorable dates for North Korea as the two met at the cosmodrome, located near the town of Tsiolkovsky in the Russian Far East’s Amur region.

“I am very glad to see you. Especially after such events took place: 75 years since the [Democratic People’s] Republic’s [of Korea (DPRK)] formation, the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Great Fatherland Liberation War, and 75 years since the establishment of [Russia-North Korea] diplomatic relations,” the Russian head of state said.

North Korea’s ‘First Priority’

The North Korean leader called Pyongyang’s ties with Moscow his country’s top priority.

“Our friendship has deep roots, and the very first priority for our country now is relations with Russia,” Kim underlined, stressing that his visit is taking place “at a very important period.”

He signaled Pyongyang’s readiness to “further develop ties [with Russia],” adding, “We have always supported and support all the decisions by President Putin and those by the Russian government.”

Kim also expressed confidence that his meeting with Putin will raise bilateral relations between Moscow and Pyongyang to a new level, pledging that North Korea would always stand together with Russia in the “fight against imperialism.”

In this vein, the North Korean leader pointed out that Russia “has risen for a sacred fight to protect its national sovereignty and safety against hegemonic forces.”

Situation In Europe And The Korean Peninsula

Speaking to Russian media after the Wednesday talks, Putin said he, in particular, held an open exchange of views on the situation in the Far East region.

“It is a good start, [and] very productive [one]. A very frank exchange of views took place on the situation in the region and on bilateral relations,” Putin emphasized, adding that he and Kim also discussed the development of bilateral relations in the field of agriculture. The statement came after the Russian head of state noted that Kim’s visit “is taking place in a truly comradely and friendly atmosphere.”

The North Korean leader, in turn, said during a gala dinner after the talks that high on the agenda was the situation in Europe and the Korean Peninsula.

“Comrade Putin and I just discussed in depth the military and political situation on the Korean Peninsula and in Europe and [we] arrived at a satisfactory consensus on further strengthening strategic and tactical cooperation, supporting solidarity in the struggle for the protection of the sovereign right of security, for creating guarantees of lasting peace in the region,” Kim underlined.

He expressed hope that his visit will serve as a catalyst to further bolster bonds between Pyongyang and Moscow.

“In conclusion, I would like to express my confidence that our [delegation’s] current visit will serve as an important moment in the further development and transformation of traditional friendly Russian-DPRK ties into unbreakable relations of strategic cooperation,” the North Korean leader stressed.

He said that such strengthening is in line with the countries’ interests, signaling Pyongyang’s intent to build long-term relations with Moscow.


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