North Korean leader Kim Jong Un continues his visit to Russia’s Far East, where he is expected to visit aviation factories and inspect Russia’s Pacific naval fleet on Thursday.
The visit is a display of closeness between Kim and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was expected to discuss obtaining North Korean weaponry for the war in Ukraine.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
Putin accepted Kim’s invitation to visit North Korea “in the future,” according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency. The Kremlin said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, next month.
Kim reaffirmed his support for Moscow, saying, “We have always supported and stand by all decisions of President Putin and the Russian government,” according to the Kremlin. Kim apparently praised Russia’s “sacred struggle to defend its state sovereignty and protect its security,” repeating rhetoric used by Putin to defend his invasion of Ukraine.
The White House is monitoring developments from the Putin-Kim summit, according to White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby. “We’ve got to see what actually shakes out of this meeting and the degree to which any kind of an arms deal was consummated,” he said. “If they decide to move forward with some sort of arms deal, we’ll obviously take the measure of that and we’ll deal with it appropriately.”
Russia said it thwarted drone attacks over Bryansk Oblast, a region southwest of Moscow near the Ukrainian border. The Russian Defense Ministry said air defenses shot down drones shortly after midnight Thursday. The local governor said there were no reports of casualties or damage.
Russia said it stopped two Ukrainian attacks Thursday: an attempted drone assault on Crimea and an attempted attack on a patrol boat from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. The Russian Defense Ministry said on Telegram that air defenses shot down the drones over Crimea, and the patrol boat’s defenses “destroyed” five unmanned boats. Ukraine did not immediately confirm the assaults. Russia illegally annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said two ships undergoing repairs in Sevastopol were damaged by an attack that it blamed on Ukraine. Air defense systems shot down seven cruise missiles, and a Russian patrol ship destroyed all enemy unmanned boats, it added. Sevastopol is a strategically important port city on the Crimean Peninsula.
Ukraine’s military intelligence service said the Sevastopol strike damaged a Russian submarine and a landing vessel. The Washington Post could not independently verify the reports. At least 24 people were injured in the attack early Wednesday, according to Mikhail Razvozhayev, a Kremlin-appointed official overseeing the area, who said the assault resulted in a fire.
Analysis from our correspondents
Russia’s armed forces are churning through artillery in Ukraine at an unsustainable rate, The Post’s Adam Taylor writes, forcing Putin to try to find ways to bolster the military’s stockpile of ammunition. That may have contributed to Kim’s visit to Russia this week, where the two leaders are expected to discuss supplying artillery, though it’s unclear exactly how much North Korea could supply to Russia.
Min Joo Kim contributed to this report.