- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is making a rare trip to Russia.
- Putin and Kim will meet later this week in Russia‘s Far East, according to the Kremlin.
- Kim and senior military figures from North Korea left for Russia on Sunday.
In preparation for a summit with President Vladimir Putin, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is making a rare trip to Russia, despite warnings from Washington about a potential weaponry deal for Moscow’s conflict in Ukraine.
Although Pyongyang has consistently denied providing Russia with armaments, experts believe that this position may soon change. Putin and Kim will meet later this week in Russia’s Far East, according to the Kremlin.
Kim Jong Un Meets Putin
In 2022, the privately owned Wagner military group received infantry rockets and missiles from North Korea for use by the Russian government. Moscow would be especially interested in artillery rounds that are simple to integrate, as North Korea likely has the largest stockpiles of artillery and artillery shells from the Soviet era that could be used to replenish Russian inventories that have been depleted due to the conflict in Ukraine.
Yang Moo-jin, head of the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, predicts that after the summit, “the new Cold War structure between South Korea, the United States, and Japan versus North Korea, China, and Russia will intensify.”
The Korean Peninsula will be a long way from denuclearization and peaceful development if it takes place. Russia possesses everything North Korea requires in exchange, including the necessary know-how, manufacturing capability, and crucial technology for North Korea’s arms sector to develop and become more resilient. By sending a message to China, the agreement might also benefit North Korea diplomatically.
Last week, the White House issued a dire warning, saying that North Korea would “pay a price” if it provided Russia with arms for the conflict in Ukraine. On the other hand, Kim and senior military figures from North Korea left for Russia on Sunday.
A prolonged battle in Ukraine is more likely if North Korea increases its military collaboration with Russia, according to Cheong Seong-chang, a researcher at the Sejong Institute, who spoke to AFP.