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Ukraine War: Is North Korea Backing Up Russia with Weaponry

Presidents Xi, Putin and Biden have all gambled on the war in Ukraine, as President Zelensky continues to defy Russia

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is reportedly set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the port city of Vladivostok emerging as a possible meeting point amidst ongoing Ukraine war.

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The high-stakes rendezvous comes amid rising tensions in the region and allegations of Russia attempting to support its military campaign in Ukraine through North Korean arms deals.

A US official, who chose to remain anonymous, revealed that Kim Jong Un could undertake the journey to Russia as early as this month.

Read also: Vladimir Putin’s Master Plan for Ukraine, Factoring it with US 2024 Elections

The two leaders previously met in Vladivostok in 2019, and their forthcoming meeting promises to be of significant consequence.

Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin, pictured together in 2019. [Photo/Courtesy] Ukraine
Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin, pictured together in 2019. [Photo/Courtesy]

The backdrop to this impending meeting is the mounting concern over alleged arms dealings between North Korea and Russia.

While North Korea has steadfastly denied any such “arms dealings,” the United States has imposed sanctions on three entities it believes are linked to arms deals between the two countries.

Read also: US President Biden condemns Putin’s nuclear threat against Ukraine

National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson expressed concern over these developments, saying, “We have information that Kim Jong Un expects these discussions to continue, to include leader-level diplomatic engagement in Russia.”

She further urged North Korea to halt arms negotiations with Russia and adhere to its public commitments to refrain from providing or selling arms to Russia.

Adding intrigue to the situation, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu recently visited Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital.

Kim Jong-un (left) and Sergei Shoigu shaking hands at the office building of the Party Central Committee in Pyongyang [Photo/AFP] Ukraine
Kim Jong-un (left) and Sergei Shoigu shaking hands at the office building of the Party Central Committee in Pyongyang [Photo/AFP]

During his visit, it is believed that Shoigu attempted to persuade North Korea, one of the world’s most militarized nations, to sell artillery ammunition to Russia.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby noted that Russian and North Korean talks on a potential weapons sale were progressing, despite the “surface level” nature of letters exchanged between Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin following Shoigu’s visit.

Read also: Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: Unraveling Putin’s Motives and Geopolitical Factors

Shoigu also hinted at the possibility of joint war games between Russia and North Korea, suggesting that they are discussing the idea.

“Why not, these are our neighbors, There’s an old Russian saying: ‘You don’t choose your neighbors, and it’s better to live with your neighbors in peace and harmony.” he said.

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According to the New York Times, North Korea may seek advanced technology from Russia to support its satellite and nuclear submarine programs in exchange for artillery shells and anti-tank missiles.

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