Secret Summit: North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Meets Putin in Russia Amid Arms Deal Speculation

Posted in: Andy Oxide, MPN, News, Updates


High-Stakes Talks between Russia and North Korea Raise Eyebrows


In a high-profile meeting shrouded in secrecy and speculation, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un traveled for two days aboard an armored train to reach the Vostochny space center in Russia’s far east.

His journey was closely monitored, with Pyongyang firing a ballistic missile just hours ahead of the rendezvous.

The world watched as talks between Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin commenced, amid rumors of an impending arms deal and discussions on humanitarian aid.

The United States and its allies have been keeping a watchful eye on the meeting, although both Pyongyang and Moscow continue to deny any military cooperation intentions.

The White House, however, revealed that negotiations between Russia and North Korea on a potential weapons deal were “actively advancing.”

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby disclosed that Russia’s Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, had attempted to persuade Pyongyang to supply artillery ammunition during a recent visit to North Korea.

While North Korea’s interest in acquiring weaponry remains a point of contention, the secretive regime is also seeking food aid and possibly technology to bolster its prohibited nuclear and missile programs.

The Kremlin, on the other hand, insisted that the visit covered “bilateral relations, the situation in the region, and in the global arena.”

Kim Jong Un emphasized the “strategic importance” of the ties between Pyongyang and Moscow, according to North Korean state media.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov underlined Russia’s commitment to acting in its national interest, stating, “The interests of our two countries are important to us, and not warnings from Washington.”

The widely anticipated meeting was initially expected to take place in Vladivostok, where Putin was hosting an economic forum.

However, Kim’s train took an unexpected route, bypassing the city and heading north to the Vostochny space center, a project reportedly close to Putin’s heart.

Russia’s advanced space technology could be a point of cooperation between the two nations, particularly after North Korea’s recent failure to place a spy satellite into orbit.

Kim’s stop at the border station of Khasan was greeted with a warm welcome by a Russian delegation, complete with a brass band.

Kim’s train, rumored to comprise at least 20 heavy bulletproof carriages, travels at a mere 37 mph (59 km/h) due to its excessive weight.

This marks Kim’s first foreign trip since his 2019 summit with Putin following the collapse of nuclear disarmament talks with then-US President Donald Trump.

After concluding their talks at the Vostochny space center, Kim embarked on his private armored train to return home.

Putin later revealed that they had discussed “possibilities” for military cooperation, with Moscow indicating its willingness to assist Pyongyang in satellite development.

Both parties strongly denied U.S. claims that the discussions were related to weapons procurement for Russia’s conflict in Ukraine.

In addition to space technology, Kim is believed to have requested food aid.

The timing of the meeting, amid strained relations between both Russia and North Korea and the West, heightened global interest.

The meeting showcased a warm reception for Kim Jong Un, who embarked on a two-day journey to Russia’s far east, greeted by a smiling Putin.

Russian state media captured the moment the two leaders shook hands, with Putin personally guiding Kim around the Vostochny space center.

Citing historical ties between the Soviet Union and North Korea, Putin welcomed Kim with the Russian proverb “an old friend is better than two new ones.”

Regarding the satellite program, Putin hinted at potential cooperation by stating, “this is why we’ve come to Vostochny Cosmodrome.”

North Korea’s recent unsuccessful attempts to launch a spy satellite have led to a desire for technological assistance.

Moreover, Kim voiced his support for Putin’s stance in the Ukraine conflict, describing Russia’s efforts as a “sacred fight to protect its sovereignty and security against the hegemonic forces of the West.”

Kim pledged ongoing support for Putin and Russia in their battle against imperialism.

The U.S. State Department reiterated its stance that any arms transfer between Russia and North Korea would violate UN Security Council resolutions and demonstrate Russia’s desperation amidst the Ukraine war.

The Kremlin, however, stressed the importance of their countries’ interests and dismissed Washington’s warnings.

Experts speculate on the nature of potential arms cooperation, with Russia keen on North Korean weaponry due to its compatibility with Russian weapon systems.

Artillery shells and guns are of particular interest to Moscow, given their significance on the battlefield.

Pyongyang may be willing to provide these, as well as bullets and older missile types.

While North Korea’s potential arsenal could offer a short-term boost to Russia’s war effort, it may not have a substantial strategic impact due to Moscow’s dwindling ammunition supplies.

Analysts believe that North Korean arms could serve as a temporary solution while Russia struggles to ramp up production.

For North Korea, grappling with prolonged sanctions, the arms deal could provide a much-needed lifeline.

Pyongyang may also seek advanced submarine and ballistic technology from Russia, although there are limits to how far Putin may go.

The meeting between Kim and Putin raises questions about the effectiveness of heavy sanctions on both Russia and North Korea.

Rorry Daniels, managing director of the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI), suggests that international sanctions have inadvertently created a “firewall” allowing the two nations to transact business without fear of further punishment.

However, Park Won-gon, an associate professor at Ewha Womans University, warns that if evidence emerges linking North Korean weapons to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, it could turn the entire NATO alliance against North Korea, triggering additional sanctions.

The meeting between Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin, shrouded in intrigue, marks a pivotal moment in international geopolitics, with its implications reverberating across the globe.

Read the original story here:

BBC Asia



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arms deal ballistic missile humanitarian aid international sanctions kim Kim Jong Un military cooperation North Korea Nuclear Program Putin Russia sanctions Ukraine War Vladimir Putin Vostochny space center

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