North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is expected to hold meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a White House official. On Monday, US National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson indicated that the meeting would be part of ongoing discussions regarding arms sales between the two countries. Watson said the US urged North Korea
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is expected to hold meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a White House official. On Monday, US National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson indicated that the meeting would be part of ongoing discussions regarding arms sales between the two countries.
Watson said the US urged North Korea “to end its arms negotiations with Russia and comply with the public commitments Pyongyang has made not to provide or sell weapons to Russia”.
Last week, the White House said Russia had been conducting secret and active negotiations with North Korea to acquire various ammunition and supplies for Moscow’s war on Ukraine.
White House national security spokesman John Kirby said, despite denials, North Korea supplied infantry rockets and missiles to Russia last year for use by the privately-controlled Wagner Group mercenary group.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu also traveled in July to North Korea, in a bid to acquire additional ammunition for the war, Watson said.
It is the first time a Russian defense minister has visited the country since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
In exchange for the additional arsenal, North Korea is expected to receive technology to upgrade its satellites and nuclear-powered submarines, according to The New York Times, which broke the news first.
US experts have also speculated that Kim may seek food aid from Russia as part of the arms negotiations. The US has tried to deter countries such as China and North Korea from providing weapons to the Russian military. Washington regards Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine as an attack on that country’s sovereignty.
Officials say Kim who rarely travels abroad is likely to meet Putin in the port city of Vladivostok on Russia’s Pacific coast. Not far from North Korea.
The visit is expected to repeat a similar visit Kim made in April 2019. Namely his first face-to-face meeting with Putin. The voyage involved Kim traveling by armored train to Vladivostok. Where he toured the Russian Pacific Fleet and held private talks with Putin on Russky Island.
Earlier on Monday South Korea’s intelligence services indicated that the Russian military leadership was carrying. Out joint naval exercises with North Korea and China, similar to those carried out by the US and its allies.
Shoigu appeared to confirm the rumors with Russia’s Interfax news agency
saying “of course” discussions were underway for joint military exercises. “Why not? These are our neighbors,” he said Monday. Earlier on Saturday Russia’s ambassador to North Korea Alexander Matsegora. Said he was not aware of any plans to collaborate with the two countries on military exercises.
But he added that any future drills would be “appropriate”, given US-led military exercises in the region.
North Korea has stepped up its missile tests in recent months, partly in response to joint US. South Korean and Japanese exercises. Kim has vowed to “drastically increase” his country’s weapons production as part of its “war preparations”.