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North Korea’s Kim Jong Un ‘to visit Vladimir Putin for weapons talks’

A file photo of Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin during their meeting in Vladivostok in 2019  (AP)
A file photo of Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin during their meeting in Vladivostok in 2019 (AP)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may travel to Russia soon to meet with President Vladimir Putin as the Kremlin tries to acquire military equipment for use in its war in Ukraine.

A US official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said the US expects Kim will make the trip within a month.

The official said the US isn't sure exactly where or when the meeting would take place, but the Pacific port city of Vladivostok would be a likely possibility given its relative proximity to North Korea.

National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said on Monday that Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu traveled to Pyongyang recently and tried to persuade North Korea to sell artillery ammunition to Russia.

Ms Watson said: "We have information that Kim Jong Un expects these discussions to continue, to include leader-level diplomatic engagement in Russia."

She added that the US is urging North Korea "to cease its arms negotiations with Russia and abide by the public commitments that Pyongyang has made to not provide or sell arms to Russia."

Shoigu said on Monday that the two countries may hold joint war games.

The New York Times first reported that Kim planned to meet with Putin in Russia this month.

The White House said last week that it had intelligence indicating that Putin and Kim swapped letters following Shoigu's visit.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the letters were "more at the surface level" but that Russian and North Korean talks on a weapons sale were advancing.