The Kremlin announced on Monday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will visit Russia to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the invitation of the Russian president.
According to reports, a South Korean official confirmed that a bulletproof train leaving Pyongyang on Sunday night was transporting the North Korean leader. The 683-mile voyage to the Russian city of Vladivostok on the North Korean border will take two days at the train’s slow speed of 37 miles per hour. New wheels will be installed on the train to run on Russian rails.
Russia’s TASS news agency reported Monday that Putin had begun a two-day journey to Vladivostok for an economic event.
According to Rebekah Koffler, author of “Putin’s Playbook” and strategic military intelligence analyst who formerly worked as a senior officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency, tighter connections between Russia and North Korea would have “major strategic ramifications for U.S. security.”
Increasing their military-industrial collaboration, “two of our main rivals are combining forces,” Koffler said. The analyst explained that Russia has some of the world’s most advanced nuclear and space technological expertise. She said the United States should be concerned that it will provide North Korea with this knowledge. The fact that these two antagonists are close to China makes things worse.
Koffler thinks both North Korea and Russia may benefit from working together, as Russia can provide food to North Korea even as its food situation worsens and Russia has access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, North Korea may continue to provide Russia with weapons to support Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Koffler claims Russia can give military assistance to North Korea.
Koffler pointed out that Russia can assist North Korea in expanding its military-industrial technological base since it is one of the world’s leaders in nuclear, satellite, space launch, and missile technologies. There is a reason North Korea just showed off its brand-new tactical nuclear assault submarine. The United States does not benefit from North Korea expanding its stockpile of atomic weapons.
U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said last month that talks between Kim and Putin on North Korea’s plan to ship military supplies to Russia were “actively developing,” which he saw as a show of desperation on Putin’s part.
Kirby has said that fresh information on progress in arms talks between Russia and the DPRK has been obtained and may be shared with the public. High-level talks might continue in the following months due to these conversations. The Russian military has said they want to utilize the armaments they obtain from the DPRK in their invasion of Ukraine.
Koffler thinks the meeting between the two sides is a bold statement of defiance to the West.