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N’Korea’s Kim Jong Un Departs Russia, Gifted Drones, and Bulletproof Vest

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Russian news sources said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un left Russia on Sunday on his armored train, ending a six-day trip that was mostly about military issues.

Kim’s first public trip outside of North Korea since the coronavirus pandemic has made people in the West more worried that Moscow and Pyongyang will ignore sanctions and make a deal to sell weapons.
The Ria Novosti news agency posted a video of Kim’s departure and said that a “departure ceremony” was held at the Artyom-Primorsky-1 station. The TASS news agency said that Kim’s train was heading about 250 kilometers (155 miles) towards the border.

In the video, Kim bids adieu to a group of Russians under the direction of Natural Resources Minister Alexander Kozlov from his train. As the train pulls away, the Russian march “Farewell of Slavianka” plays.

TASS reported earlier on Sunday that a regional governor had given Kim five explosive drones, an observation drone, and a bulletproof vest as gifts.

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

TASS said that the governor of the Primorye region, which borders both China and North Korea, “offered Kim Jong Un a set of bulletproof protection” and “special clothing that can’t be seen by thermal cameras.”

On Saturday, he went to Vladivostok to meet with the Russian defense minister and look at cutting-edge weapons, such as a hypersonic missile system.

Kim’s long tour of Russia’s Far East, which started on Tuesday, has been mostly about the military. This is clear from the fact that most of the people in his group are officers, that he exchanged rifles with President Vladimir Putin, and that he visited a fighter jet plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

While Pyongyang wants Russia’s assistance to improve its missile program, which the rest of the world forbids, Moscow may want to purchase North Korean weapons to continue fighting in Ukraine.

The Kremlin has said that no deal has been made and that none will be made.

On Sunday, Kim also talked to North Korean students who were learning in Vladivostok.

The North Korean news agency KCNA said that the mood during Kim’s visit was “fervent and warm” and that a “new era of friendship, solidarity, and cooperation” was beginning between North Korea and Russia.

AFP

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