Peskov continued that Putin gave Kim a “high-quality” Russian-made rifle as a gift – as well as the glove from a space suit that had already been in space “several times.” Kim, in turn, gave Putin a carbine made in North Korea. As the Kremlin spokesman further announced, Kim’s visit to Russia will last “a few more days.”

Putin and Kim met on Wednesday at the Vostochny cosmodrome in the Russian Far East. There, Russia offered Pyongyang to send a North Korean citizen into space for the first time.

“We talked about the possibility of training a North Korean cosmonaut and sending him into space if the North Korean side wants it,” Peskov said, according to Russian news agencies Tass and Ria Novosti. If such a mission comes about, it would be the first person from North Korea to fly into space.

According to Putin, after the meeting, Kim was supposed to go to Komsomolsk-on-Amur to visit factories producing “civil and military” aviation equipment. The plan was then to continue the journey to Vladivostok, where the Russian Pacific Fleet was to give him a military “demonstration”. Putin said Kim was also planning a visit to the local university and facilities of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the big city. The Russian President did not provide any information about the exact timing of the program items.

At the meeting, Putin raised the possibility that Russia could help North Korea build satellites after Pyongyang twice failed to put a spy satellite into orbit. “The leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea shows great interest in missile technology and is trying to expand his presence in space,” Putin said.

Kim had previously made the development of a military spy satellite a priority to “counter the dangerous military actions of the United States and its vassals,” North Korea’s official KCNA news agency reported in May.

Referring to the war in Ukraine, Kim said he was sure Russia would achieve a “great victory” over its enemies. Putin praised the friendship between the two countries and told reporters he saw “opportunities” for military cooperation with North Korea.

According to assessments from Washington, the talks held in Vostochny could lead to arms sales from North Korea to Russia. Russia is targeting North Korea’s artillery shells, said An Chan-il, director of the International Institute for North Korean Studies. If North Korean multiple rocket launchers and other artillery shells are delivered to Russia in large quantities, he believes this could “have a significant impact on the war in Ukraine.”

The meeting signals a “seismic shift in Northeast Asian geopolitics,” said Kim Jong-dae, a researcher at the Yonsei Institute for North Korean Studies. A stronger alliance between North Korea, Russia and China could become a “destabilizing force in the region.”

According to Kim Jong-dae, weapons from Pyongyang could influence the war in Ukraine: “I think Russia has already tested the North Korean projectiles on the battlefield and is now ready to expand their use,” said the expert. Neither the USA nor South Korea are clear about the consequences of such an arms deal. Meanwhile, Japan warned that arms deals between the two countries would violate a UN resolution banning arms sales to North Korea.