According to state-run media KCNA, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stated that his first trip to Russia in over four years was a demonstration of the “strategic importance” of the two nations’ relations. Are you wondering what the meeting is all about? Let’s find out.
“Kim Jong Un said that his visit to the Russian Federation… is a clear manifestation of the stand of the WPK and the government of the DPRK prioritizing the strategic importance of DPRK-Russia relations,” the report claimed. The Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), the only party in power in the isolated nation of North Korea, is referred to as the DPRK, or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
According to KCNA, Kim is traveling to Russia for the first time since the global public health disaster brought on by the COVID-19 epidemic. State media reported that Kim landed in Khasan, a border town in Russia, early on Tuesday. At the train station, he was welcomed by senior officials from Moscow and the surrounding territories.
He hopes to elevate friendship and cooperation between the DPRK and Russia to a “fresh higher level,” according to the report.
Possible Arms Deal in position
In a journey that was closely watched, Mr. Kim traveled for two days in an armored train to the Vostochny space complex in Russia’s Far East. A ballistic missile was fired by Pyongyang hours before the conference.
It’s anticipated that a deal would be reached between the two sanctioned regimes exchanging humanitarian aid for armaments. Although Pyongyang and Moscow maintain that their talks are for military collaboration, the US and its allies are closely monitoring the meeting between Mr. Kim and Mr. Putin.
The White House claimed to have fresh evidence indicating that talks between Russia and North Korea on a weapons deal were “actively advancing”.
Should the world be worried about this Union?
From a transactional perspective, an arms sale between North Korea and Russia seems to make a lot of sense. Moscow needs arms, specifically ammunition and artillery rounds, for the battle in Ukraine, and Pyongyang has plenty of both.
On the other hand, because of sanctions, North Korea is in desperate need of money and food. More than three years of border closures, in addition to the collapse of talks with the US in 2019, have resulted in a greater degree of isolation for the country than ever before.
However, it opens the door for Pyongyang and Moscow to begin working together more closely on the ground.
The US has expressed concerns about a prospective arms deal between the two nations, and those fears are amplified by a meeting between Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin at the leader level.
While it appears that the US is primarily focused on keeping North Korean weapons from reaching the front lines in Ukraine, at least in the near future, there is concern in Seoul about what North Korea would gain if it sold its weapons to Russia.
Winding it up
Mr. Kim leaves North Korea infrequently or lightly. He is very concerned about his safety and views travel as risky. During his most recent international trips, which included conferences with Donald Trump in Hanoi in February and Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok in April, he rode an armoured train. The journey from China to Hanoi took two long and hard days.
Unknown is the degree of secrecy that the two leaders intended for their summit, but the US is probably hoping that by making it public, it will scare Mr. Kim and endanger the meeting and any prospective arms deal.