Japan said Friday that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is willing to meet North Korea’s leader “without preconditions,” two days after Kim Jong Un met the Russian president.
“Prime Minister Kishida has expressed his determination to meet Kim Jong Un in person “at any time and without prior conditions,” the Japanese government spokesman said.
“We would like to organize high-level discussions” between Tokyo and Pyongyang “under the direct control of the prime minister, to reach a summit as soon as possible.” added Hirokazu Matsuno.
Kim Jong Un has been visiting Russia since September 12, after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday at a meeting where an agreement was apparently reached on the exchange of arms and technology.
Kim Jong-un visits Russian aircraft factory
The North Korean leader today visited two factories for the production of military and civilian aircraft and attended a flight demonstration of the Russian Su-35 fighter jet in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Khabarovsk region, eastern Russia.
In a statement, the Russian government said Kim’s move is aimed at possible cooperation with North Korea in the field of aircraft manufacturing in the context of international sanctions weighing on both countries.
The North Korean leader visited “one of our most important aircraft production facilities,” Russia’s Industry and Trade Minister said.
“We see opportunities for cooperation both in the field of aircraft manufacturing and in other industries,” Denis Manturov emphasizes.
“This is especially important to fulfill the tasks that our countries face in achieving technological sovereignty,” the Russian leader added.
During Wednesday’s meeting, Putin said he saw “prospects” for military cooperation with North Korea. Kim Jong-un expressed his belief in the victory of the army and people of ‘Greater Russia’ in Ukraine, during a lunch hosted by the Russian president.
On Thursday, Ukraine said North Korea began supplying weapons “a month and a half” ago to the Russian military, which is said to have spent more than 10 million projectiles on the war in 2022 alone.
According to the head of Ukrainian military intelligence, Kirilo Budánov, Pyongyang supplied 122mm and 152mm caliber projectiles for artillery pieces, as well as rockets for Grad launchers, a Soviet-made system.
The United States warned North Korea on Wednesday that no country should help the Russian president “kill innocent Ukrainians,” stressing that Pyongyang will face consequences if it does.
Japan and South Korea also raised concerns about a possible arms deal between Putin and Kim, with Tokyo warning of the risk of violating U.N. sanctions.