North Korea’s Kim Jong-un to meet Vladimir Putin in Russia to discuss Ukraine war weapons, says report
- The New York Times newspaper reported that the leaders would discuss the possibility of North Korea supplying weapons for the Ukraine war
- The trip would come after Russia’s defence minister had tried on a visit to North Korea to convince Pyongyang to sell artillery ammunition to Russia
“As we have warned publicly, arms negotiations between Russia and the DPRK are actively advancing,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said using the acronym for North Korea’s official name.
She added that “we have information that Kim Jong-un expects these discussions to continue, to include leader-level diplomatic engagement in Russia”.
The newspaper said Putin wanted artillery shells and anti-tank missiles from North Korea, and Kim could even travel to Moscow, but that was uncertain.
Kim is reported to be seeking advanced technology for satellites and nuclear-powered submarines, as well as food aid for his impoverished nation.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu travelled last month to North Korea seeking to acquire additional munitions for the war, Watson said on Monday.
Last week at the United Nations, the United States, Britain, South Korea and Japan said that any deal to increase cooperation between Russia and North Korea would violate Security Council resolutions forbidding arms deals with Pyongyang – resolutions that Moscow itself had endorsed.
They said that following Shoigu’s visit to Pyongyang, another group of Russian officials travelled to North Korea for follow-up talks.
The United States last month sanctioned three entities accused of seeking to facilitate arms deals between North Korea and Russia as Washington tightened restrictions on support for Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
The US Treasury Department said Russia was continuing to use up munitions and lose heavy equipment in Ukraine, forcing it to turn to its small pool of allies, including North Korea, for support.
Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse