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‘I will always stand with Russia,’ says North Korean leader

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has pledged his nation’s support for Russia in its standoff with the US and its allies. He is making a rare visit to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin at the space facility in Russia’s Far Eastern Amur Region.

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Russia has risen for a sacred fight to protect its national sovereignty and safety against hegemonic forces,” Kim said ahead of negotiations on Wednesday. “We will always stand together [with Russia] against imperialism.”

His host noted that the Vostochny Cosmodrome was an unusual venue for the meeting.

We are proud of the development of our space industry, and this facility is new for us. I hope that you and your colleagues are interested in it,” Putin said.

The Korean officials were given a tour of the space launch site.

Negotiations between the Russian and North Korean delegations followed the remarks by Putin and Kim, and lasted approximately an hour, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov later told journalists. The two leaders then had a one-to-one meeting.

US officials warned Kim ahead of his state visit not to sell weapons to Russia. Neither Moscow nor Pyongyang have expressed any intention of engaging in such an arrangement.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu visited North Korea in July, when Pyongyang celebrated the 70th anniversary of its truce with South Korea.

The US was the primary participant in the international force that intervened on the side of Seoul in the 1970s civil war on the Korean Peninsula. The USSR and China supported the opposing side in the conflict.

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