Kim Jong Russia visit: Kim Jong Un’s visit to Russia raises concerns among Western nations, given the current geopolitical tensions. Here are the main points from the article:
Visit Details: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited Russia and met with Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu in Vladivostok. This is Kim’s first official foreign visit since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Western Fears: The West is concerned about potential arms deals between Moscow and Pyongyang, defying sanctions. Moscow might be keen on purchasing ammunition from North Korea for its campaign in Ukraine, while North Korea seeks Russia’s expertise for its missile program.
Kremlin’s Stance: The Kremlin has officially stated that no arms deal has been or will be signed between Russia and North Korea.
Nature of Kim’s Visit: Kim’s tour has a pronounced military theme, with Kim exchanging rifles with Putin, touring a fighter jet factory, and inspecting a hypersonic aircraft missile system. After their meeting, Putin mentioned possibilities for increased cooperation, suggesting potential military ties.
Highlights of the Visit:
- Kim inspected the Kinzhal missile system on the MiG-31I missile carrier.
- He also visited the frigate Marshal Shaposhnikov, where he was briefed on the ship’s anti-submarine weapons.
- Future plans include visits to the Far Eastern Federal University and marine biology laboratories at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Vladivostok.
Significance of the Visit: Kim’s visit underscores the strengthening ties between Russia and North Korea, both of which face international sanctions – Moscow for its actions in Ukraine and Pyongyang for its nuclear activities.
Potential Deals & Western Concerns:
- Putin and Kim’s symbolic exchange of rifles fueled speculations about potential arms deals.
- While the Kremlin maintains that no agreements have been or will be signed during Kim’s trip, the West remains alarmed.
- During their meeting, Putin also reportedly offered to send a North Korean to space, a historic first. Discussions also touched upon Russia aiding North Korea in manufacturing satellites, which has raised concerns in Washington. The US State Department highlighted that North Korean satellites have been utilized to advance Pyongyang’s ballistic missile technology.
In conclusion, Kim Jong Un’s visit to Russia adds another layer of complexity to global geopolitics, especially given the existing tensions between the West, Russia, and North Korea.