Kim Jong-Un has made his first trip abroad in 4 years since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in a rare visit on Russian soil to meet Vladimir Putin. The move has sparked huge concern amongst the West as US officials argue an arms deal will be made on the trip.
Kim Jong-un’s Rare Russia Visit
Kim Jong-un made a rare visit to Russia, arriving on his heavily fortified train for a significant summit with Vladimir Putin.
The Armored Arrival in Khasan
Kim’s armored train arrived at Khasan station, Russia’s main rail gateway from North Korea, as reported by Kyodo news agency.
Arms Deal Discussion
The summit is expected to revolve around the potential supply of North Korean arms to support the war in Ukraine.
Possible Meeting Date
Kim and Putin may meet after the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, but details remain uncertain.
Strengthening North Korea vs. Russian Ties
The Kremlin spokesperson stated that Kim’s visit aims to strengthen ties between the two nations, “It is the interests of our two countries that we will focus on.”
Delegations from both sides will engage in negotiations, with the possibility of one-on-one discussions between the leaders, “As you know, while implementing our relations with our neighbours, including North Korea, the interests of our two countries are important to us, and not warnings from Washington,” the spokesperson said.
No News Conference
According to Russian news agencies, neither Kim nor Putin plans to hold a news conference.
Western nations express concerns that North Korea may provide weapons to Russia to replenish depleted stocks due to the Ukraine conflict.
Possible Agreement on Munitions
The presence of key figures like Jo Chun-ryong suggests that North Korea and Russia may reach an agreement on munitions purchases.
Kim’s Departure From Pyongyang
KCNA released photos of Kim’s departure from Pyongyang, where he received a warm farewell from military guards and the public.
First Overseas Visit in Years
Kim’s visit marks his first trip abroad in over four years and his first since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
Focus on Supplies and Aid
US officials speculate that Putin aims to secure additional North Korean artillery and ammunition, while Kim may seek energy, food aid, and advanced technology.
Russia’s Reluctance to Share
Some analysts believe Russia may hesitate to share closely guarded weapons technology in exchange for limited munitions.
Concerns Over Prolonged Conflict
Acquiring North Korean artillery shells and antitank missiles could worsen concerns that the Ukraine conflict is far from finished.
US Calls for Compliance
The White House urged North Korea to adhere to its commitments not to provide or sell arms to Russia.
US Describes Putin as Desperate
The US State Department characterized Putin as desperate in the Ukraine conflict, warning of potential sanctions if an arms deal proceeds.
Violations of UN Resolutions
The State Department argued that any transfer of arms from North Korea to Russia would violate multiple UN Security Council resolutions.
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