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Kim Jong Un inspects Russian bombers, hypersonic missiles, and warships

Kim Jong Un inspects Russian bombers, hypersonic missiles, and warships

Kim Jong Un inspects Russian bombers, hypersonic missiles, and warships

Kim Jong Un inspects Russian bombers, hypersonic missiles, and warships

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  • Kim Jong Un and Russian Defense Minister inspected Russian military assets near Vladivostok.
  • Concerns include possible missile tech transfers and implications for regional stability.
  • U.S. and South Korea express worries over military cooperation violating UN sanctions.
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On Saturday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s defense minister examined Russian strategic bombers, hypersonic missiles, and warships.

Around 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Pacific port of Vladivostok, Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s defense minister, met Kim and saluted him at the Knevichi airfield. Then the North Korean leader looked over an honor guard.

The United States and South Korea worry that a rekindled alliance between Moscow and Pyongyang may allow Kim access to certain very sensitive Russian missile technology while also arming Russia for its conflict in Ukraine.

The Tu-160, Tu-95, and Tu-22M3 strategic bombers, which are equipped to deliver nuclear warheads and serve as the core of Russia’s nuclear air assault force, were displayed to Kim by Shoigu, according to the Russian defense ministry.

Shoigu said of one aircraft, “It can fly from Moscow to Japan and then back again.”

Kim was seen inquiring as he occasionally nodded and grinned about how the missiles were launched from the airplane.

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He was shown the MiG-31I hypersonic “Kinzhal” missile-equipped interceptor aircraft by Shoigu. The air-launched Kinzhal, also known as the dagger, is a ballistic missile that can carry either nuclear or conventional warheads.

With a payload of 480 kg (1,100 pounds), it has a reported range of 1,500 to 2,000 km (930-1,240 miles). It could go at up to 12,000 kph (7,700 mph), or ten times the speed of sound.

Following the inspection of aircraft and missiles, Kim also examined a warship from Russia’s Pacific fleet in Vladivostok. During his visit, he was scheduled to observe a demonstration by the Russian navy.

South Korea and the United States expressed on Friday that any military cooperation between North Korea and Russia would violate U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang. They emphasized that there would be consequences for such actions.

Russia has been actively promoting Kim’s visit and has hinted at the potential for military collaboration with North Korea. The relationship between North Korea and the Soviet Union dates back to 1948 when North Korea was formed.

Russian President Putin, who contends that Moscow is engaged in a crucial struggle with the West over Ukraine, sees Kim’s visit as an opportunity to provoke Washington and its Asian allies while possibly securing significant military resources for the Ukraine conflict.

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The United States has accused North Korea of supplying arms to Russia, which possesses the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear warheads. However, it remains unclear if any such deliveries have occurred.

During his visit, Kim also inspected a Russian fighter jet factory that is currently under Western sanctions.

When Kim and Putin met on Wednesday, they discussed military matters, the Ukraine conflict, and the expansion of their cooperation. Putin assured reporters that Russia had no intention of violating any agreements but was committed to strengthening its relationship with North Korea.

The Kremlin spokesperson mentioned that there were no plans to formalize any agreements during Kim’s visit.

Russian diplomats argued that the United States had no grounds to criticize Moscow, especially since the U.S. had strengthened its alliances worldwide, including sending a U.S. nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarine to South Korea in July.

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