After a week-long visit to Russia that included discussions with President Vladimir Putin on increased military and other cooperation, it was reported by Russian news media that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was leaving for home by train on Sunday.
Kim was seen in the Russian Far Eastern city of Artyom waving goodbye in a video released by the country’s state-run RIA news agency on Sunday as he made his way up a red carpet to his train compartment.
On the border between Russia and North Korea, Artyom is located around 254 kilometers (159 miles) from Khasan station.
As Russia accelerates its invasion of Ukraine and North Korea, a secretive communist state, continues with its missile and nuclear development, the United States and its allies are concerned about the strengthening of military connections between the two neighbors.
Military collaboration between North Korea and Russia, according to South Korea and the United States, would violate U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang, and the allies would make sure there was a price to pay.
In written replies to the Associated Press on Sunday, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol described such a military alliance as “illegal and unjust” adding that the international community would “unite more tightly” to address the growing connections between Moscow and Pyongyang.
Growing Military Cooperation
On Monday, Yoon will travel to New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly.
Moscow has made a special effort to promote Kim’s visit, making repeated allusions to the possibility of military collaboration with North Korea, a nation established in 1948 with Soviet Union support.
On Saturday, Kim met with Sergei Shoigu, the minister of defense of Russia, who displayed to the North Korean leader Russian strategic bombers, hypersonic missiles, and warships.
Shoigu told Russian media that Moscow and North Korea are talking about conducting joint military exercises.
One of the most apparent indications of growing ties to that point was when he paid Kim a visit to Pyongyang in July and together they attended a military demonstration. According to KCNA, Kim visited Russia and was given a tour of the Pacific Sea Fleet, which is made up of military ships including strategic nuclear submarines.
Kim was quoted as appreciating the navy for its role in maintaining regional stability. He was captured on camera touring a warship’s command center.
North Korea debuted its first “tactical nuclear attack submarine” this month. Kim received a bulletproof vest and six drones made in the Primorsky area of far eastern Russia, according to the RIA news agency.