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North Korea's Kim Jong Un tours Russian military facilities in Vladivostok

UPI
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (R) and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (L) inspect Russian military aircraft displayed at Knevichi aerodrome near Vladivostok in Russia's Far East on Saturday. Photo by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service/EPA-EFE

Sept. 16 (UPI) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Saturday met with Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu and toured a Russian warship and aircraft factory in the far eastern city of Vladivostok.

Kim joined Shoigu and Admiral Nikolay Yevmenov, commander in chief of the Russian Navy, to tour the Russian frigate Marshal Shaposhnikov in the Far East city of Vladivostok, the official TASS news agency reported.

Kim also visited the Knevichi airfield where Lt. Gen. Sergey Kobylash, commander of Russia's long-range aviation forces, touted the capacities of the Kh-BD long-range missile.

At the base, Kim was shown Tu-95, Tu-160 and Tu-22M3 strategic bombers.

Kobylash said a Russian strategic bomber "carries a Kh-BD missile with a range of over 6,500 kilometers [4,038 miles]," TASS reported.

The tour of the Far Eastern military facilities came after Kim met with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week at the Vostochny space center amid growing concerns over possible military cooperation between the two countries.

Official North Korean media reported that Kim visited the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Yuri Gagarin Aviation Plant and that banners were displayed in the city reading, "Welcome Comrade President of the State Affairs of the DPRK."

Kim was greeted there by Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Alexandr Kozlov and the local mayor Alexandr Zhornik, and was presented with bread and salt by women in traditional Russian clothes.

State media reported Kim was shown the fifth-generation Su-35 fighter jet and got into the cockpit of one of them.

In July, Shoigu visited North Korea to mark the 70th anniversary of the armistice that ended open hostilities in the Korean War in 1953.