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Leader Kim Jong Un has traveled to Russia for talks with President Vladimir Putin, which are expected to focus on arms sales.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived at the Vostochny Cosmodrome for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, hours after Pyongyang fired two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast.
Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti said Kim arrived at the Cosmodrome in Russia’s eastern Amur region minutes after Putin’s visit was reported. No further details.
The Kim-Putin talks are expected to include possible arms sales, with the North Korean leader accompanied by top military and armaments officials.
Shortly before the RIA report, South Korea and Japan said they had detected two short-range ballistic missiles launched from North Korea’s east coast.
There were no immediate details on the type or range of weapons fired.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said they were examining the data.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters that Japan had protested against North Korea through diplomatic channels in Beijing.
Both missiles landed in the sea outside Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
“Interesting: A launch without Kim Jong (un) in the country. First,” wrote US-based security analyst Ankit Panda on the X site, formerly known as Twitter.
North Korea has conducted numerous missile tests this year in defiance of United Nations sanctions imposed in 2017 over its nuclear missile program. More than 100 missile launches have taken place since the beginning of last year.
In late August, Pyongyang launched two short-range ballistic missiles in what it said was a simulation of a tactical nuclear attack on South Korea.
Last week, Kim presided over a launch ceremony for the country’s first ‘tactical nuclear attack’ submarine, the Hero Kim Kun Ok.
It’s unclear how Kim maintains command and control over his country’s missile and nuclear forces while abroad, but analysts say recent exercises have revealed a system of overseeing nuclear weapons used in the United States and Russia.
A report in March by the 38 North program, which monitors North Korea, outlined a process involving state media announcements, commanders of units and various sub-divisions, a missile approval system and “technical and mechanical devices” governing nuclear weapons control.