‘Bartering Russian Rockets for North Korean Weapons’ – Are Putin and Kim Jong-Un Rekindling a Connection?

North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un met with Vladimir Putin in Russia to discuss how the two countries can assist each other in their ongoing missions to dominate space and Ukraine.

Russia’s Plans to Help North Korea

Russian President Vladimir Putin hinted at the possibility of assisting North Korea with its space and satellite program. 

This revelation came during Putin’s tour of Russia’s expansive Vostochny space launch site, just before anticipated arms talks with Kim Jong Un.

A reporter asked Putin if Russia would support North Korea in launching satellites and rockets. Putin’s response was cryptic: “That’s exactly why we came here.”

Kim Jong Un’s keen interest in space and rocketry has not gone unnoticed. He aspires to develop space technology, a fact Putin acknowledged during the visit to the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East.

Strengthening of Ties

Putin’s comments suggest a potential strengthening of ties between Russia and North Korea, a development that has raised concerns among U.S. officials.

The Kremlin released video footage showcasing the historic handshake between the two leaders and their tour of the space center and rocket complex.

North Korea’s endeavors in space technology have encountered setbacks, including two failed attempts this year to launch a spy satellite into orbit.

Kim Jong Un views military satellites as crucial for national safety and territorial stability.

They also play a strategic role in preemptive military actions, as reported by North Korean state media in April.

Sharing such technology with North Korea would breach international sanctions aimed at preventing the country from building nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Economic Cooperation and Humanitarian Issues

The talks, lasting just over an hour, centered on economic cooperation, humanitarian issues, and the regional situation.

Kim Jong Un admired Russia’s defense of its sovereignty and security against what he called “hegemonic forces,” an apparent allusion to the U.S. and the West.

Kim pledged unwavering support for Russia’s endeavors, declaring himself a steadfast ally in the fight against imperialism and for independence.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov clarified that no formal documents were signed following the talks, contrary to reports of a potential arms deal taking place.

During their tour, Putin and Kim inspected the facilities where Russia plans to launch its next-generation spacecraft.

The Space Center

The choice of the space center for the summit has raised eyebrows. Some experts suggested it implies the potential exchange of satellite launch technology for North Korean munitions, which Moscow could use in its Ukraine war.

Russia, worn down by over 18 months of conflict in Ukraine, seeks ammunition and shells, while North Korea, grappling with international sanctions, faces shortages in various areas, including missile technology.

North Korea’s media reports indicated that Kim Jong Un’s visit deepened the relationship between the two countries.

Former U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton warned that the meeting goes beyond a potential arms deal, representing North Korea’s return to significant contact with Russia since the Soviet Union’s collapse.

Hours before the summit, North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles, both landing somewhere in the waters off the east coast of the Korean peninsular.

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