Eko Hot Blog reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Russia on Tuesday for talks with President Vladimir Putin, amid warnings from Washington not to agree on an arms deal.
Kim left Pyongyang on Sunday on his private train, accompanied by top arms industry and military officials. The Kremlin said the talks would be comprehensive and could also include humanitarian aid to North Korea and the U.N. Security Council resolutions imposed against Pyongyang.
U.S. officials said that arms talks between Russia and North Korea were actively advancing and Kim and Putin are likely to discuss providing Russia with weapons for the war in Ukraine. Pyongyang and Moscow have denied that North Korea would supply arms to Russia.
The makeup of Kim’s delegation, including top defence industry and military affairs, suggests an agenda heavy on defence industry cooperation. Analysts said that Kim could offer artillery rounds from his large stockpile, which could replenish Russia’s capabilities in the short term, but questions about the ammunition’s quality may limit the overall impact.
Washington has renewed its warnings to Pyongyang not to sell arms to Russia that could be used in the Ukraine war. North Korea is one of the few countries to have openly supported Russia since the invasion of Ukraine last year.
The meeting between Kim and Putin is the first since their summit in Vladivostok in 2019. It comes at a time of heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula, with North Korea conducting a series of missile tests in recent months.
The talks are also being held against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, which has raised concerns about the possibility of a wider conflict involving nuclear-armed powers.
It is unclear what will come out of the meeting between Kim and Putin, but it is a significant development that the two leaders are meeting at all. The talks could have a major impact on the security situation in the region and beyond.
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