Putin to North Korea

Putin to North Korea

What to expect from Putin’s visit to North Korea: A historic trip with many unknownsMichael Mitzel

the Visit to North Korea Dale President Ross, Russian President Vladimir Putin, It’s his first trip to the hermetic Asian nation in approx 25 years It bears witness to the strong bilateral rapprochement, a relationship that is highly secretive, starting with military exchanges agreed in 2023. These are some clues about the visit that neither Moscow nor the Kim Jong-un regime wanted to confirm. Until the last minute, which still raises several questions.

Exchanges are at record levels

This trip culminates a period in which bilateral rapprochement was very intense, especially since Putin and Kim held a summit in Russia last September in which they agreed to cooperate militarily without revealing the specific details of this agreement. It is known that Pyongyang has since transferred a record level of containers to Russia, and given the size and logistical route (their contents ended up near the cape in Ukraine), they are likely weapons, specifically 152 or 122 mm artillery or ballistic missiles. , according to fragments identified on the ground in the areas attacked by Moscow.

In turn, the South Korean Ministry of Unification indicated that in the first half of 2024, there were 18 direct exchanges between officials from the two countries, the same number that occurred in all of 2019, before Pyongyang decided to completely isolate itself from the world for three years. To prevent the entry of the Corona virus.


Before the trip, Putin himself suggested in an op-ed in North Korea’s Rodong newspaper that Moscow and Pyongyang would create a “trade and reciprocal payment system not controlled by the West.” This mechanism, about which there are no other details at the present time, seeks to circumvent the network of sanctions through which Washington and its allies seek, according to the Kremlin, to put pressure on all those who yearn for a “multipolar world order” that threatens the world. “American hegemony in the world” In turn, the Kremlin stated that the visit could lead to the signing of a new basic treaty for bilateral relations that would replace those signed in 1961, 2000 and 2021 and form a “comprehensive strategic alliance.”

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Armament cooperation

Many analysts believe that Putin’s visit could serve to deepen military cooperation, an aspect that could impact the security landscape in Ukraine and the Korean Peninsula. While there are doubts about the true industrial capacity of a poor country like North Korea to continue supplying weapons to Russia, some fear that Moscow will transfer vital technology to Pyongyang, which could exacerbate the tense situation in the country’s northeastern part of Asia.

“I don’t know what the North Koreans can gain from this,” Robert Gallucci, who led negotiations for a peace deal at the Jeju Peace Forum at the end of May, said at the Jeju Peace Forum at the end of May. “But what do I worry about? I’m worried first and foremost about nuclear weapons.” . The United States in the 1990s to prevent North Korea from withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). “The Russians could provide them with information about the relationship between certain designs (of atomic bombs) and certain explosive materials,” he ventured, stressing that anything Moscow decides to transfer in terms of technology is crucial “to reduce the testing numbers the North Koreans face.” Need to perform.”

On the other hand, there are voices that question the extent of Russia’s willingness to transfer heavy weapons, such as South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-sik, who indicated in a recent interview that Moscow would not bet on it except as a “last supplier.” “So that it does not lose its influence over Pyongyang.”

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