On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong Un, at the Vostochny cosmodrome in Russia’s far east. The meeting, which was closely watched by the international community, saw Putin pledging cooperation with Kim. Despite speculations of an arms deal between Russia and North Korea, no major announcements were made regarding weapons.
Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has isolated the Kremlin and led them to seek allies and military equipment elsewhere. Kim expressed his country’s priority of maintaining relations with Russia following his arrival, emphasizing the deep-rooted friendship between the two nations. Putin echoed this sentiment, stating that Russia must defend its state sovereignty and security against opposing forces.
Meanwhile, Russia is reportedly seeking to purchase artillery ammunition from North Korea for its invasion of Ukraine. Military analysts believe that an arms deal between Moscow and Pyongyang could help replenish Russia’s depleted stocks. However, it is unlikely to significantly impact the course of the war.
When questioned about military cooperation, Putin stated that all issues would be discussed in due time. In addition to potential arms deals, Russia also intends to assist North Korea in building space satellites. Kim has shown great interest in rocket technology and the development of spy satellites, which are crucial assets for his highly militarized country.
The summit at the Vostochny cosmodrome lasted over five hours and concluded with a dinner featuring a variety of dishes, including fish soup, sturgeon, and marbled beef. Russian wines were also served. Kim toasted to Putin’s good health and the continuous development of Russian-Korean friendship.
The meeting between Putin and Kim Jong Un comes at a critical time as both countries navigate complex geopolitical challenges.