North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently visited aviation plants in the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur in Russia’s Far East. Accompanied by Russian Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov, Kim’s armored train arrived in Komsomolsk-on-Amur early Friday.
The first stop on Kim’s visit was the aviation plant named after Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (KnAAZ), where he toured the production lines and the final assembly shop for Su-35 and Su-57 jets. Kim also had the opportunity to explore the plant’s design department, where he was introduced to the digital technologies used in creating state-of-the-art aircraft.
During his visit to KnAAZ, Kim also inspected the areas where fuselage compartments and wing assemblies are produced for the Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ-100). This civilian regional jet, equipped with Russian-made components, is part of Russia’s import substitution program, a response to Western sanctions imposed over the conflict in Ukraine. The SSJ-100 successfully completed its first test flight in Komsomolsk-on-Amur in late August.
Following his visit to KnAAZ, Kim made his way to the facility of the Yakovlev Design Bureau in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, where the final assembly shop for SSJ-100 planes is located. There, he observed the first fully domestically-built Superjets, which will soon be supplied to Russian air carriers.
According to Manturov, there is potential for cooperation between Russia and North Korea in aircraft manufacturing and other areas. He believes that such joint work is crucial for achieving the goal of technological sovereignty pursued by both countries.
Kim’s program in Komsomolsk-on-Amur concluded with the observation of a test flight of a Su-35 fighter jet. His next destination is Vladivostok, the largest city in the Russian Far East.
Kim’s visit to Russia began on Tuesday when he arrived by train, marking his first visit since 2019. The following day, he joined Russian President Vladimir Putin for a tour of the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Amur Region and held talks. During the meeting, Kim expressed his country’s commitment to standing together with Russia against imperialism. He also extended an invitation to Putin to visit Pyongyang, an offer that the Russian leader accepted.