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North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Visits Russia, US Gives Warning

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had arrived in Russia for what the Kremlin described as a thorough talk with President Vladimir Putin, despite warnings from Washington that they should not agree to an arms deal.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “It will be a full-fledged visit. There will be negotiations between two delegations, and after that, if necessary, the leaders will continue their communication in a one-on-one format.”

The UN Security Council resolutions imposed against Pyongyang and humanitarian aid to North Korea may also be discussed, according to Russian officials.

Top military and arms industry executives accompanied Kim when he boarded his private train on Sunday from Pyongyang to Russia, according to reports in the North’s state media on Tuesday.

Kim arrived in Russia on Tuesday morning, leaving his train to meet local officials in Khasan, the largest rail hub for Russia’s Far East, before continuing on, a Russian source familiar with the journey told Reuters.

Kim in his twelve years in charge have made only seven excursions outside of his country and two crossings of the inter-Korean border. Four of those journeys were to China, the North’s principal political ally.

When the visit was first predicted to happen, U.S. officials claimed that Russia and North Korea were actively moving forward in their arms negotiations and that Kim and Putin would probably talk about giving Russia weapons for the war in Ukraine.

On Monday, according to the Russian TASS news agency, Putin arrived in Vladivostok. He attended the Eastern Economic Forum’s plenary session, which began Tuesday and extends through Wednesday. According to Russian news outlets, Peskov stated that his meeting with Kim would take place after the forum and that no leaders’ press conference is scheduled.

The meeting’s venue or Kim’s participation have not been confirmed or even if Kim will attend the meeting or not.

According to an anonymous Russian official quoted by Japan’s Kyodo news, Kim’s train was headed farther north to the Amur area, where it is probable that he will meet with Putin at the Vostochny cosmodrome.

Both Pyongyang and Moscow have denied that North Korea will give Russia armaments, whose enormous arsenals have been depleted over the course of the conflict’s more than 18-month duration.

Recent indications of increased military collaboration between Russia and the nuclear-armed North have alarmed Washington and its allies. After meeting in 2019 during his most recent international trip, this will be Kim and Putin’s second summit.

Peskov stated that Russia’s policies would be determined by its national interests.

“As you know, while implementing our relations with our neighbours, including North Korea, the interests of our two countries are important to us, and not warnings from Washington,” Peskov was quoted as saying by Russian media.

According to observers, the composition of Kim’s team, which included senior military and defence industry figures as well as Director of the Munitions Industry Department Jo Chun Ryong, shows a focus on defence industry collaboration.

According to Michael Madden, a North Korea leadership expert at the Stimson Centre in Washington, “The presence of Jo Chun Ryong indicates that North Korea and Russia will conclude some type of agreement for munitions purchases.”

Kim might offer artillery rounds from its substantial stockpile, which could temporarily restore Russia’s capabilities, but concerns about the quality of the ammunition may restrict the overall impact, according to military specialists.

According to observers, the composition of Kim’s team, which included senior military and defence industry figures as well as Director of the Munitions Industry Department Jo Chun Ryong, shows a focus on defence industry collaboration.

According to Michael Madden, a North Korea leadership expert at the Stimson Centre in Washington, “The presence of Jo Chun Ryong indicates that North Korea and Russia will conclude some type of agreement for munitions purchases.”

Kim might offer artillery rounds from its substantial stockpile, which could temporarily restore Russia’s capabilities, but concerns about the quality of the ammunition may restrict the overall impact, according to military specialists.

When Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu paid a visit to Pyongyang in July, Kim offered him a personal tour of an arms show in a stunning display. Shoigu also saluted when a military parade passed by with banned ballistic missiles.

Even as late as 2017, Russia and China have cast votes in favour of Security Council resolutions sanctioning Pyongyang for its ballistic missile launches and nuclear testing.

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