The North Korean leader was seen smiling as Sergei Shoigu gave a salute on his arrival at the Knevichi airfield, about 30 miles from the Pacific port city of Vladivostok.
Shoigu showed Kim Russia’s strategic bombers – the Tu-160, Tu-95 and Tu-22M3 – which are capable of carrying nuclear weapons and form the backbone of Russia’s nuclear air attack force.
Each has seen active use during the war in Ukraine. The defence minister said of one aircraft: ‘It can fly from Moscow to Japan and then back again.’
Kim was shown asking about how the missiles were fired from the aircraft, at times nodding and smiling.
Shoigu showed him the MiG-31I supersonic interceptor aircraft equipped with ‘Kinzhal’ hypersonic missiles.
The Kinzhal, ‘dagger’ in Russian, is an air-launched ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear or conventional warheads.
It has a reported range of 930-1,240 miles while carrying a payload of 480 kg. It may travel at up to 10 times the speed of sound – 7,700 mph.
Russia’s ambassador to North Korea, Alexander Matsegora, told reporters that Kim’s programme was ‘very intense’ and that it was not yet clear how long he would remain in Russia, state news agency RIA reported.
It also quoted Oleg Kozhemyako, governor of Vladivostok’s Primorye region, as saying he would have talks with Kim on Sunday on cooperation in sport, tourism and culture.
After the aircraft and missiles, Kim inspected the Russian Pacific Fleet’s frigate ‘Marshal Shaposhnikov’ in Vladivostok and saw a demonstration of modern missile control systems, RIA said.
South Korea and the United States said on Friday that military cooperation between North Korea and Russia would violate UN sanctions against Pyongyang and that the allies would ensure there was a price to pay.
Source of data and images: metro