Putin's Pursuit of North Korean Arms Deal Signals Desperation, Says US Officials

Amidst an escalating backdrop of military moves and power plays, the international political theater is abuzz with anticipations.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Putin's Pursuit of North Korean Arms Deal Signals Desperation, Says US Officials
© Getty Images News/Chung Sung-Jun

Amidst an escalating backdrop of military moves and power plays, the international political theater is abuzz with anticipations. A proposed meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has set off alarm bells in diplomatic circles.

Their agenda? A potential arms deal.

"A Union of Desperate Leaders"

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken voiced his concerns in a recent interview with NBC News, stating that Kim's proposed visit to Russia to discuss the arms deal underscores the Kremlin's palpable "desperation." These sentiments echo a broader consensus among US military experts and strategists.

Adding to the narrative, Retired US Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling highlighted the gravity of the situation during his conversation with CNN. Describing the potential Kim-Putin meeting, Hertling called it a union between "two desperate leaders of the world's most noted pariah states." His analysis didn't end there.

"This will generate a lot of attention. It's showing that Mr. Putin is scrambling for help," remarked Hertling, drawing on his experience as the former commanding general of US Army Europe.

Ukraine's Counteroffensive: A Game Changer

The proposed Putin-Kim dialogue isn't occurring in a vacuum.

It follows a significant military move by Ukraine in June when the nation launched its long-anticipated counteroffensive. Their mission was clear: to reclaim Russian-occupied territories in the eastern and southern regions.

While the counteroffensive's pace has been described as slow-moving, Blinken remains optimistic about Ukraine's progress. Sharing his insights, he conveyed to NBC News that Ukrainian forces were making "very tangible progress" in the past weeks.

Addressing the challenges faced by the Ukrainian forces, Blinken explained, "The Russians had a lot of time in this case to prepare for the counteroffensive. They put tens of thousands of mines in places, other defensive fortifications." Yet, despite these hurdles, Blinken firmly believes in the Ukrainian spirit, asserting, "The Ukrainians are working and going through it, but at the end of the day, they have a determination, they have a desire that will outmatch whatever the Russians put into this." In the grand geopolitical chessboard, the proposed arms deal and Ukraine's counteroffensive present both risks and opportunities.

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