"Our friendship has deep roots, and relations with the Russian Federation is the top priority for our country now," Kim said during talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Vostochny spaceport in the Amur region in Russia's Far East.
He also expressed confidence that bilateral talks will help to "bring relations to a new level." Kim thanked the Russian president for the invitation to Russia, adding that the visit takes place at a crucial time.
"Our relations were established back during Korea's struggle for freedom in 1945, when Soviet and Korean soldiers shoulder to shoulder crushed the Japanese militarists. These days, too, we are striving to strengthen comradeship and good-neighborliness, acting in the name of peace, stability and prosperity in our common region," Putin said, as reported by TASS.
(1) I am happy to see that Russia is treating North Korea as it should be treated with mutual respect due any leader. I ask that we all consider the FACT that N Korea is NOT illegally invading other countries, warmongering, and stealing natural resources. NK is beautiful. pic.twitter.com/UHwGhzKbHw
Kim also shared his impressions of visiting Russia. "We felt the sincerity of our Russian friends from the moment we entered Russian territory," he said, extending gratitude to Putin and the whole Russian people on behalf of the DPRK.
The talks between Kim and Putin took place in a meeting room on the first floor of an engineering complex for the space rocket Soyuz-2.
According to Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov, the two leaders would discuss issues related to bilateral relations, cooperation, trade and economic ties, and cultural exchanges, and would also exchange views on regional and international issues.