Putin and Kim Jong Un Meet Amid Expectations of Arms Deal

Putin and Kim Jong Un Meet Amid Expectations of Arms Deal
Putin and Kim Jong Un Meet Amid Expectations of Arms Deal
Putin and Kim Jong Un Meet Amid Expectations of Arms Deal
Putin and Kim Jong Un Meet Amid Expectations of Arms Deal

Putin and Kim Jong Un Meet Amid Expectations of Arms Deal

Putin and Kim Jong Un Meet Amid Expectations of Arms Deal. Image/AP

Leaders Shake Hands at Russian Space Centre, Discuss Potential Arms Trade

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, a Russian spaceport, marking a significant event that could potentially lead to an arms deal between the two nations in defiance of global sanctions.

Meeting at the Space Centre

The two leaders, both internationally isolated, chose the Russian spaceport located approximately 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from Vladivostok for their meeting. During their encounter, Kim Jong Un expressed great interest in rocket technology, and Putin mentioned Moscow’s plans to assist North Korea in satellite development.

Potential Arms Trade

Experts anticipate that Russia may seek artillery shells and antitank missiles from North Korea in exchange for advanced satellite and nuclear-powered submarine technology. While addressing reporters, Putin stated that all issues would be discussed, without haste, leaving room for potential military cooperation on the agenda.

Gratitude and Strategic Importance

Kim Jong Un thanked Putin for the invitation and emphasized the strategic importance of the relationship between North Korea and Russia. Despite ongoing tensions and international sanctions, Kim’s visit signifies the priority his nation places on its ties with Russia.

Military Focus

Kim’s entourage at the summit suggests a strong military focus, including top military officials such as Marshal Pak Jong Chon and Director Jo Chun Ryong. Notably, North Korea conducted missile tests while Kim was out of the country.

Symbolic Meeting

The meeting at the Russian cosmodrome holds symbolism, especially since North Korea recently failed in its attempts to place a military spy satellite into orbit. Russia is interested in North Korea’s artillery shells, while Pyongyang seeks help with satellite technology and military equipment upgrades.

Possible Regional Impact

The potential arms deal raises concerns, particularly from the White House, which warned North Korea of consequences if it supplied Russia with weaponry for the conflict in Ukraine. Additionally, China, another significant ally of North Korea, may view Russia’s involvement with concern and fear regional destabilization from any transfer of Russian military technology to Pyongyang.

In the short term, both leaders may gain by obtaining what they need. However, long-term implications could damage Russia’s ties with Seoul.

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