North Korea’s Kim Jong Un to meet Russian president Vladimir Putin to discuss weapons supply 

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is reportedly set to travel to Russia this month to meet president Vladimir Putin. The meeting holds significance as it is more than a year that the Russia and Ukraine are engaged in war. Besides, Kim and Putin have also been isolated and have their own wars with the U.S.  

Russia is wanting to buy ammunition from the North as its reserves have been drained out due to the long-standing war with Ukraine. The North in turn wants food and energy shipments and transfer of sophisticated technologies from Russia, according to U.S. officials, AP News reported.  

Kim’s meeting with Putin will be his first with a foreign leader since North Korea closed its borders in January 2020 due to Covid-19. The two leaders had met earlier in April 2019, two months after Kim’s high-profile meeting with former U.S. president Donald Trump. 

U.S. officials said that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu travelled to Pyongyang in July and asked Kim to send more ammunition to Russia. Shoigu said Moscow and Pyongyang were considering holding military exercises for the first time. 

It isn’t clear where Kim and Putin’s meeting will take place and how far the two countries will strengthen their relations. However, if their relations become strong, then rivals like U.S. and South Korea have reasons to worry.  

Russia looks to subdue a Ukrainian counteroffensive and draw out the conflict, while the North is broadening a record speed of rocket tests to fight U.S. moves to support its tactical collusions with South Korea and Japan, BBC reported. 

U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Shoigu, had tried to “convince Pyongyang to sell artillery ammunition” to Russia during a recent visit to North Korea. He added that Kim and Putin have traded letters “pledging to increase their bilateral co-operation”. 

“We urge the DPRK to cease its arms negotiations with Russia and abide by the public commitments that Pyongyang has made to not provide or sell arms to Russia,” Kirby said. 

As indicated by South Korea’s intelligence, Shoigu had recommended Russia, China and the North hold joint maritime drills, like those carried out by the U.S., South Korea and Japan. According to reports, North Korea has been providing Russia with mounted guns shells, rockets and other ammo. 

Meanwhile, Kim will possibly want money and food supplies from Russia due to severe economic crisis brought about by the border closure.  

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Photo by tiburi/Pixabay
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Photo by tiburi/Pixabay

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