Kim from Korea departs Russia after receiving drones as a gift

Moscow: According to Russian news agencies, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un concluded his six-day trip to Russia on Sunday, departing on his armored train. His visit, the first official one since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, has raised concerns in the West about potential arms deals between Moscow and Pyongyang that could defy sanctions.

Ria Novosti agency released a video of Kim’s departure, noting a “departure ceremony” held at the Artyom-Primorsky-1 station. TASS news agency reported that Kim’s train was headed approximately 250 kilometers (155 miles) towards the border. In the footage, Kim is seen waving goodbye from his train to a Russian delegation led by Natural Resources Minister Alexander Kozlov. As the train departs, the Russian march “Farewell of Slavianka” is played.

Earlier on Sunday, TASS reported that Kim had received gifts from a regional governor, including five explosive drones, a reconnaissance drone, and a bulletproof vest. TASS specified that the leader of the DPRK received “five kamikaze drones and a ‘Geran-25’ reconnaissance drone with vertical takeoff,” using North Korea’s official name.

The governor of the Primorye region, which borders China and North Korea, also provided Kim Jong Un with bulletproof protection and special clothing designed to be undetectable by thermal cameras.

During his visit, Kim met with the Russian defense minister in Vladivostok, where they inspected state-of-the-art weapons, including a hypersonic missile system. Kim’s extensive tour of Russia’s far eastern region, which began on Tuesday, has centered on military matters, as evident from his entourage dominated by officers, a symbolic rifle exchange with President Vladimir Putin, and a visit to a fighter jet factory in Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

It’s believed that Moscow is interested in procuring North Korean ammunition for its ongoing conflict in Ukraine, while Pyongyang seeks Russia’s assistance in developing its internationally condemned missile program. The Kremlin has stated that no agreements have been or will be signed. On Sunday, Kim also met with North Korean students studying in Vladivostok.

North Korean news agency KCNA has described Kim’s visit as having a “fervent and warm” atmosphere and has suggested that a “new era of friendship, solidarity, and cooperation” is emerging between North Korea and Russia.

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