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Putin’s North Korea visit raises concerns over military cooperation and technology sharing

Vladimir Putin’s acceptance of Kim Jong Un’s invitation to visit North Korea has sparked international concerns. As the two leaders strengthen their ties, questions arise about potential military cooperation and sensitive technology exchanges.

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SEOUL/MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to visit North Korea at the invitation of Kim Jong Un, raising concerns in the US about the strengthening Moscow-Pyongyang alliance potentially aiding Russia’s military efforts in Ukraine and sharing sensitive missile technology.

The invitation was extended during a summit in eastern Russia, where they discussed military matters, the Ukraine conflict, and North Korea’s satellite programme.

The leaders referred to each other as “comrades” and toasted their friendship, further deepening ties.

Kim Jong Un courteously invited Putin to visit North Korea, and the Russian president gratefully accepted the offer.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is scheduled to travel to Pyongyang in October.

The burgeoning relationship between Kim and Putin worries the US and its allies.

Washington has accused North Korea of supplying arms to Russia, though deliveries remain unconfirmed.

Both nations have denied these claims but pledged to enhance defense cooperation.

The US State Department warned of potential additional sanctions on Russia and North Korea if they engage in new arms deals, according to Reuters.

The national security officials of the US, South Korea, and Japan discussed the Putin-Kim meeting, emphasising that such arms exports would violate multiple UN Security Council resolutions.

South Korea’s National Security Council cautioned that North Korea and Russia would face consequences if they breached UN Security Council resolutions.

Kim is set to visit military and civilian aviation factories in Komsomolsk-on-Amur and inspect Russia’s Pacific fleet in Vladivostok.

This meeting signifies a revival of the historically close ties between North Korea and Russia.

China has played a significant role in North Korean diplomacy, but Pyongyang has sought to maintain relations with both Moscow and Beijing.

Putin visited Pyongyang in 2000 for a meeting with Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un’s father.

The extent of Russia’s willingness to fulfill North Korea’s technology requests remains uncertain.

Given Russia’s increased artillery production amid the Ukraine conflict, a North Korean supply line could prove valuable.

North Korea possesses a substantial stockpile of artillery shells and rockets compatible with Soviet-era weapons.

When asked about potentially lifting sanctions on North Korea, the Kremlin maintained its commitment to UN Security Council obligations while emphasising its intent to develop relations with North Korea based on Russian interests.

Russian diplomats criticised US reactions to the summit, citing American involvement in global conflicts and weapon distribution.

Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, argued that the United States lacked the moral authority to dictate other nations’ actions.

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