Russia's President Vladimir Putin and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un visit the Vostochny Сosmodrome in the far eastern Amur region, Russia, on September 13, 2023. Image Credit: REUTERS

MOSCOW/HANOI: Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit North Korea and Vietnam in the coming weeks, Russia’s Vedomosti newspaper reported on Monday, with an official telling Reuters the Vietnam visit was planned for June 19-20 but has not yet been confirmed.

Putin’s visit to Pyongyang is being “actively prepared”, Russian Ambassador to North Korea Alexander Matsegora confirmed to the newspaper.

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The newspaper reported that Putin could visit Vietnam as early as June and most likely immediately after his visit to North Korea.

An official in Vietnam told Reuters the dates of the Hanoi visit had been agreed, but the agenda was still under discussion. Energy, military cooperation, settlement of payments and an agreement in the education field are among the main issues expected to be discussed, the official said.

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Vedomosti quoted Russia’s trade representative in Vietnam as saying last month that the most pressing trade issue between the two countries was banking support for settling payments.

Vietnam’s foreign ministry did not reply to a request for comment.


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited Russia last September for talks with Putin. He toured Russia’s Vostochny Cosmodrome space launch centre in Russia’s Far East and Putin promised to help North Korea build satellites.

The Kremlin has said Russia wants to build a partnership with North Korea “in all areas” but has not confirmed the date of the visit.

Russia has stepped up ties with North Korea and other countries hostile to the United States such as Iran since the start of the war with Ukraine - relations that are a source of concern to the West.

The United States and Ukraine in January accused Russia of firing North Korean-supplied short-range ballistic missiles at Ukraine, something Russia declined to confirm or deny.

Vedomosti said Putin and Kim may discuss whether Russia will bring in migrant workers from North Korea. Russia is suffering acute labour shortages because of the Ukraine war; many hundreds of thousands of men have either gone to fight or fled abroad to avoid being mobilised.

Putin’s only previous trip to North Korea was in 2000, the first year of his presidency.