North Korea’s Kim leaves Russia, given drones as gift

Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, concluded a six-day journey to Russia on Sunday with the departure of his armored train, according to Russian news media.

Since the coronavirus pandemic, Kim has not made an official trip outside of North Korea, which has increased Western concerns that Moscow and Pyongyang may evade sanctions and sign a weapons deal.

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The Ria Novosti agency published a video of Kim’s departure, and said a “departure ceremony” was held at the Artyom-Primorsky-1 station, while TASS news agency said that Kim’s train was headed around 250 kilometres (155 miles) towards the border.

The footage shows Kim waving goodbye from his train to a Russian delegation led by Natural Resources Minister Alexander Kozlov, before the Russian march “Farewell of Slavianka” is played as the train departs.

Earlier Sunday, TASS said Kim had been given five explosive drones, a reconnaissance drone and a bulletproof vest as gifts from a regional governor.

TASS said the “leader of the DPRK received five kamikaze drones and a ‘Geran-25’ reconnaissance drone with vertical takeoff”, using the official name of North Korea.

TASS said the governor of the Primorye region, which borders China and North Korea, also “offered Kim Jong Un a set of bulletproof protection” and “special clothing not detectable by thermal cameras”.

In Vladivostok on Saturday, he met with the Russian defense minister and viewed cutting-edge armaments, including a hypersonic missile system.

As demonstrated by his own officer-dominated entourage, a symbolic exchange of arms with President Vladimir Putin, and a visit to a fighter jet facility in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Kim’s extended trip of Russia’s far east has largely focused on military issues.

While Pyongyang wants Russia’s assistance to develop its widely denounced missile program, Moscow is thought to be interested in buying North Korean weaponry so that it can keep fighting in Ukraine.

No agreement has been reached or will be, according to the Kremlin.

On Sunday, Kim also met with North Koreans studying in Vladivostok.

The atmosphere during Kim’s visit was described as “fervent and warm” by the North Korean news agency KCNA, which also claimed that a “new era of friendship, solidarity, and cooperation” was beginning between North Korea and Russia.

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Mridha Shihab Mahmud is a writer, content editor and photojournalist. He works as a staff reporter at News Hour. He is also involved in humanitarian works through a trust called Safety Assistance For Emergencies (SAFE). Mridha also works as film director. His passion is photography. He is the chief respondent person in Mymensingh Film & Photography Society. Besides professional attachment, he loves graphics designing, painting, digital art and social networking.
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