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North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Arrives in Russia Amid Arms Deal Speculations

September 12, 2023

Photo Credit: AP

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made a noteworthy visit to Russia, accompanied by high-ranking military officials, sparking concerns in Western nations regarding a potential arms deal for Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict. Kim’s journey began with his personal train departing from Pyongyang, with North Korea’s state media capturing images of the leader surrounded by honor guards and citizens.

Speculations suggest his delegation includes Foreign Minister Choe Sun Hui and top military officials.

The exact location and timing of Kim’s meeting with President Vladimir Putin were not disclosed, but Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov indicated that the talks would focus on bilateral relations. The meeting could possibly take place in Vladivostok, where Putin was attending an international forum.

This visit marked Kim’s first foreign trip since the COVID-19 pandemic, signaling a diplomatic shift. U.S. officials expressed concerns over potential arms discussions between North Korea and Russia, urging North Korea to adhere to its commitments regarding arms sales. The possibility of Russia securing North Korean artillery and ammunition to replenish its reserves for the Ukraine conflict adds complexity to the situation.

The relationship between Russia and North Korea has grown closer since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with both nations aiming to strengthen their alliance against the United States. North Korea’s recognition of Russian-backed separatist regions in eastern Ukraine and its interest in sending construction workers to aid in rebuilding further illustrate this bond.

While a meeting between Kim and Putin may carry symbolic significance, substantial military cooperation remains uncertain due to Russia’s reluctance to share critical weapon technologies. Nevertheless, the world watches closely as these developments unfold.

Credit: AP

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