North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un is planning to meet with Russian President, Vladimir Putin on a rare trip beyond his country’s borders, US authorities have revealed.
The pair will discuss the possibility of Pyongyang supplying weapons for Putin’s soldiers to use on the battlefield in Ukraine and what North Korea might get in return.
According to the New York Times, Kim would meet his counterpart in the far eastern Russian city of Vladivostok, less than 100 miles from the minuscule border between the two countries, after travelling in an armoured train. There’s even a chance Kim would pay a visit to Moscow, although sources told the NY Times that is far from certain.
The meeting could take place as soon as next week, while the Eastern Economic Forum takes place at the remote city’s Far Eastern Federal University between September 10 and 13. The visit comes after a visit to North Korea by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in July who sealed secret agreements for the supply of weapons for the Kremlins war in Ukraine while there.
John Kirby, a spokesman for the US National Security Council, said Shoigu had made the trip to try to convince Pyongyang to sell artillery ammunition, adding that negotiations appeared to be actively advancing.
At the end of last month, the UK, US, Japan, and South Korea issued a joint statement warning the two nations were arranging deals for significant quantities and multiple types of munitions from North Korea to be used in Ukraine.
We cannot and we will not stay silent as we receive more information that Russia continues to turn to rogue regimes to try to obtain weapons and equipment in order to support its brutal war of aggression.
We will continue to work with allies and partners to identify, expose, and counter Russian attempts to acquire military equipment from the DPRK or any state that is prepared to support Russia’s war in Ukraine.