North Korea’s Kim sees nuclear-capable Russian bombers and hypersonic missiles | ET REALITY


VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspected Russian strategic bombers, hypersonic missiles and nuclear-capable warships on Saturday, accompanied by President Vladimir Putin’s defense minister.

A smiling Kim was greeted at Russia’s Knevichi airfield, about 50 kilometers (30) miles from the Pacific city of Vladivostok, by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who greeted Kim. The North Korean leader then reviewed an honor guard.

The United States and South Korea fear that reviving Moscow’s friendship with Pyongyang could give Kim access to some of Russia’s sensitive missiles and other technologies, while helping arm Russia in its war in Ukraine.

Shoigu showed Kim Russia’s strategic bombers – Tu-160, Tu-95 and Tu-22M3 – which are capable of carrying nuclear weapons and form the backbone of Russia’s nuclear air strike force, the Defense Ministry said. Russia.

“It can fly from Moscow to Japan and then back,” Shoigu told Kim about one of the planes.

Kim was shown asking how the missiles were fired from the plane, sometimes nodding and smiling.

Shoigu showed him the MiG-31I supersonic interceptor aircraft equipped with “Kinzhal” hypersonic missiles. The Kinzhal, or dagger, is an air-launched ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear or conventional warheads.

It has a reported range of 1,500–2,000 km (930–1,240 mi) and carries a payload of 480 kg (1,100 lb). It can travel up to 10 times the speed of sound (12,000 kph, 7,700 mph).

After the planes and missiles, Kim inspected the warship of the Russian Pacific Fleet in Vladivostok, where he was to witness a demonstration by the Russian navy.

South Korea and the United States said on Friday that military cooperation between North Korea and Russia violated U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang and that the allies would ensure there was a price to pay.

Russia has gone to great lengths to publicize Kim’s visit and drop repeated hints about the prospect of military cooperation with North Korea, which was formed in 1948 with the backing of the Soviet Union.

For Putin, who says Moscow is locked in an existential battle with the West over Ukraine, courting Kim allows him to irritate Washington and its Asian allies while potentially securing a large supply of artillery for Ukraine’s war.

Washington has accused North Korea of ​​providing weapons to Russia, which has the world’s largest arsenal of nuclear warheads, but it is unclear whether deliveries have been made.

Kim on Friday inspected a Russian fighter jet factory that is under Western sanctions.

He and Putin discussed military issues, the war in Ukraine and deepening cooperation when they met Wednesday. Putin told reporters that Russia was “not going to violate anything” but would continue to develop relations with North Korea.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters there were no plans to sign any formal agreements during the visit.

Russian diplomats said Washington had no right to lecture Moscow after the United States had bolstered its allies around the world, including with a visit by a U.S. submarine armed with ballistic missiles to South Korea in July.

(Reporting by Reuters; writing by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by William Mallard)

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