Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin Shake Hands

North Korean leader meets with Russian president
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2023 12:32 AM CDT
Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un Shake Hands
Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shake hands during their meeting at the Vostochny cosmodrome outside the city of Tsiolkovsky, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) from the city of Blagoveshchensk in the far eastern Amur region, Russia, on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023.   (Vladimir Smirnov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shook hands Wednesday as they launched their highly anticipated meeting at the Vostochny cosmodrome in Russia's far east. Kim's powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong, is there too. Hours before the meeting started, Pyongyang launched two short-range ballistic missiles, CNN reports. An analyst suggests that could be the country's way of showing that its military remains at the ready despite Kim's departure. A weapons deal is expected to come out of the talks, with North Korea reportedly wanting food and humanitarian aid as well as possibly technology and Russia wanting weapons and ammunition, the BBC reports.

In advance of the meeting, Putin was asked by a reporter whether Russia would help North Korea "launch its own satellites and rockets." His response: "That's exactly why we came here. The leader of North Korea shows great interest in space, in rocketry, and they are trying to develop space. We'll show our new objects." The Kremlin had previously said the meeting would cover "bilateral relations, the situation in the region and in the global arena," while Kim had previously said the sit-down shows the ""strategic importance" of the relationship between the two countries. (More Russia stories.)

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