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15 Sep, 2023 07:54

Kim Jong-un visits Russian aviation plants

The North Korean leader toured the production lines and observed an Su-35 fighter jet demo flight, authorities say
Kim Jong-un visits Russian aviation plants

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has visited aviation plants in the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur in Russia’s Far East with Russian Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov, the government in Moscow has said.

Kim’s armored train, which he has used during his trip to Russia, arrived in Komsomolsk-on-Amur in the country’s Khabarovsk Region early on Friday.

The leader’s first destination was the aviation plant named after Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (KnAAZ), where he checked out the production lines and the final assembly shop for Su-35 and Su-57 jets, according to the Russian Trade and Industry Ministry.

At the plant’s design department, he was shown digital technologies used to create state-of-the-art aircraft.

Kim also toured sections of KnAAZ responsible for manufacturing fuselage compartments and wing assemblies for the Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ-100), a civilian regional jet featuring exclusively Russian-made components. This initiative aligns with Russia's import substitution program, which was implemented in response to Western sanctions stemming from the conflict in Ukraine.

The liner performed its first successful test flight in Komsomolsk-on-Amur in late August.

Kim then moved to a facility of the Yakovlev Design Bureau in the city where the final assembly shop for SSJ-100 planes is located. There, he saw the first fully domestically-built Superjets, which will soon be supplied to Russian air carriers.

Manturov said he sees potential cooperation between Russia and North Korea in aircraft manufacturing and other areas. Such joint work is “especially important for achieving the goal of technological sovereignty pursued by our countries,” he stressed.

The North Korean leader’s program in Komsomolsk-on-Amur concluded with him observing a test flight of a Su-35 fighter jet. He is expected to travel to Vladivostok, the largest city in the Russian Far East, on Saturday.

Kim arrived in Russia by train on Tuesday, his first visit since 2019. The next day, he toured the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Amur Region with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a round of talks.

During the meeting, the North Korean leader said that his country “will always stand together [with Russia] against imperialism.” He also invited Putin to visit Pyongyang, which the Russian leader accepted.