Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin. (IANS Photo)
Moscow/Seoul, September 13 (IANS): During their rare summit at the remote Vostochny spaceport in Russia's Far Eastern Amur Region, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Wednesday told President Vladimir Putin that Pyongyang will work together with Moscow to "fight imperialism".
The meeting between Kim and Putin comes amid concerns that they might advance an arms negotiation and bolster military cooperation, reports Yonhap News Agency.
With the participation of delegations, Kim and Putin began talks at the spaceport, according to Russian news agencies.
Hours earlier, they shook hands and briefly exchanged conversation as Putin welcomed Kim ahead of their first talks in more than four years.
"(North Korea's) relations with Russia are the top priority of Pyongyang," Kim was quoted as saying at the start of the talks.
Kim told Putin his country will work together with Russia to "fight against imperialism," adding that he is supportive of "all decisions" made by the President, according to Russian media outlets.
After departing from Pyongyang on board his bulletproof, luxury armoured train on Sunday, the North Korean leader arrived at the rocket launch facility on Wednesday morning, traveling more than 1,000 km north of the eastern Russian city of Vladivostok, where he met Putin in 2019.
Military cooperation likely topped the agenda, as Russia apparently needs North Korea's supplies of artillery shells and ammunition for its war with Ukraine, while the North wants high-tech weapons technology from Russia.
On whether he plans to discuss military and technical cooperation with Kim during their talks, Putin was quoted as saying earlier in the day that "all issues" will be discussed, according to Russian news agencies.
Russia's PrimaMedia reported that the North Korean leader will be shown how the Angara launch vehicle is being assembled and also inspect the launch complex for the Soyuz-2 launch vehicle.
In reponse to questions from reporters if Russia will help North Korea build satellites, Putin said: "This is why we've come to Vostochny Cosmodrome."
Analysts have predicted that North Korea may agree to supply Russia with ammunition and weaponry for its war in Ukraine. Moscow, in return, may agree on a weapons-related technology transfer to Pyongyang, such as those involving spy satellites and nuclear-powered submarines.
If Kim and Putin also agree to strengthen their military cooperation, including a three-way naval drill with China, it would pose a major security challenge on the Korean Peninsula and beyond.
Their meeting comes as Pyongyang has recently been seeking to bolster military ties with Moscow and doubling down on its weapons development in the wake of growing security cooperation among South Korea, the US and Japan.
Kim earlier said his trip to Russia for a meeting with Putin is a "clear manifestation" of North Korea prioritizing the "strategic importance" of their bilateral ties, according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency.
North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles toward the East Sea on Wednesday, South Korea's military said, in an apparent show of force ahead of the summit between Kim and Putin.