The 2023 DPRK-Russia Summit: “North Korea’s ‘Visible Show of Support’: Key Takeaways from HISTORIC Putin-Kim Talks”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un 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.”

Which Rockets Did Putin and Kim See at the Vestochny Cosmodrome

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.

Kim on 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.”

Productive Parleys

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.

Sign to Washington

Konstantin Asmolov of the Moscow-based Institute for China and Modern Asia Studies with the Russian Academy of Sciences has, meanwhile, told Sputnik that what matters most from the Putin-Kim meeting is “the visible show of support” of Russia by the North Korean leader.

Asmolov pointed to Russia becoming the first country where Kim arrived after three years of self-isolation, which he said is “a rather important fact in itself.”

The expert suggested that the two most likely focused on changes in the geopolitical situation in the region during the closed-door talks, especially in light of emergence of regional alliances, such as the Washington-Tokyo-Seoul bloc, which was created amid global turbulence.

When asked if the US is alarmed about closer ties between Russia and the DPRK, Asmolov said that America just pretends that they are terribly afraid of apocalyptic consequences from this relationship in order to justify the formation of an Asian NATO.

Victor Teo, a Singapore-based political scientist who specializes in the international relations of the Indo-Pacific region, for his part suggested that the two discussed strategic matters of common interest during the face-to-face talks.

Asked about the signal Putin and Kim are sending to the West, the political scientist said that “one key message this meeting is sending is that despite the United States’ strength in the Asia-Pacific, Russia too has allies in the region.”

“I personally think that Russia and North Korea are already on good terms, and that while Western press reports have raised various concerns, the United States government understands that the DPRK has traditionally relied on the Soviet Union/Russia for help in various aspects. The US security establishment is therefore not all that concerned with Russia-DPRK interactions unless it involves sensitive military technology exchanges that the US does not wish for the DPRK to possess,” Teo pointed out.



By Oleg Brunovu

Published by Sputnik Globe



Republished by The 21st Century

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of



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