Tensions are escalating on the international front as North Korean President Kim Jong-Un prepares to journey to Russia for a high-profile meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. As sources report, the crux of their discussions might be centered on a controversial weapons deal.
Potential Arms Supplies to Russia
According to an unnamed US official who spoke with CBS, the two leaders will deliberate on North Korea potentially supplying Moscow with weaponry to back its ongoing war in Ukraine. While the precise venue for this significant rendezvous remains under wraps, major American media outlets, including the New York Times, have echoed this narrative.
Adding a touch of intrigue, the BBC suggests that Kim Jong-Un might opt for his famed armored train for the trip. This prospective meeting has caught international attention, especially after the White House recently expressed that there's credible information pointing towards active arms negotiations between Russia and North Korea.
In an explicit disclosure, National Security Council spokesman, John Kirby, remarked that during a preceding visit to North Korea, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu endeavored to "convince Pyongyang to sell artillery ammunition" to Russia.
The meeting's spotlight wasn't just on the diplomatic interactions. A significant revelation was the display of the Hwasong intercontinental ballistic missile, believed to be North Korea's premier solid-propellant ICBM. This occasion marked a landmark moment, being Kim Jong-Un's first invitation to international guests since the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the globe.
In light of the deepening ties between the two nations, they've exchanged letters pledging to fortify their bilateral cooperation. Kirby, underscoring the gravity of the situation, stated, "We urge the DPRK to cease its arms negotiations with Russia and uphold the public commitments that Pyongyang has professed to not provide or sell arms to Russia." He further issued a stern warning, noting the U.S.'
s resolve to sanction individuals and entities promoting arms trade between the two nations.
A Glimpse into Past Engagements
It's crucial to remember that this isn't the maiden meeting between the two leaders. Their paths last converged in April 2019 in Vladivostok, marking, likely, Kim's last international voyage.
Post their discussion, Putin highlighted Jong-Un's potential stipulation of security assurances for relinquishing his nuclear arsenal. This gathering trailed another crucial summit in Vietnam involving Kim Jong-Un and then-US President Donald Trump. Unfortunately, this dialogue did not yield tangible progress on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
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