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Kim Jong Un's Armored Train Crosses Into Russia For A Meeting With Putin


Kim Jong Un's armored train crosses into Russia for a meeting with Putin, and according to state media reports on Tuesday, the North Korean leader has engaged in meetings with officials. This development comes ahead of a highly anticipated summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a meeting that the United States has cautioned could potentially lead to an arms agreement.

Kim briefly disembarked from his train at the Khasan train station in Russia's far east on Tuesday, as reported by the Russian state media outlet TASS. During his stop, he was welcomed by Alexander Kozlov, the Russian Minister of Natural Resources, and the governor of the Russian region that shares a border with North Korea.

South Korea's Defense Ministry has indicated that it believes Kim Jong Un entered Russian territory early on Tuesday morning. The North Korean leader is scheduled to proceed with his journey, ultimately meeting one-on-one with Putin in another location in Russia's far east.

This meeting holds substantial significance, as analysts note that it will unite two leaders who find themselves increasingly isolated on the global stage. Russia urgently needs to replenish ammunition and shells, having endured over 18 months of warfare in Ukraine, which has severely strained its military capabilities. Meanwhile, North Korea, grappling with years of international sanctions due to its nuclear weapons program, is experiencing shortages across various fronts, from financial resources and food to missile technology.

This summit has the potential to result in North Korea gaining access to weaponry that has been prohibited by more than two decades of United Nations sanctions, particularly in relation to its nuclear-capable ballistic missile program.

COPYRIGHT_BP: Published on https://bingepost.com/kim-jong-uns-armored-train-crosses-into-russia-for-a-meeting-with-putin/ by Cecilia Jones on 2023-09-12T19:46:54.939Z

The US government announced last week that discussions concerning arms agreements between Russia and North Korea are progressing actively. Additional talks might occur as part of Russia's endeavors to secure new sources of weaponry for its ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Jeon Ha-kyu, the spokesperson for South Korea's Defense Ministry, stated on Tuesday that the ministry is closely observing whether North Korea and Russia will indeed move forward with negotiations involving arms deals and technology transfers.

According to the North Korean news agency KCNA, the North Korean leader embarked on his journey from the capital, Pyongyang, on Sunday afternoon. He was accompanied by a delegation of high-ranking party officials, government representatives, and members of the armed forces.

Notably, North Korea's top officials, including military leaders and the chief diplomat, are part of Kim's delegation, as evidenced by photos shared by North Korean state media KCNA. In one of these photos, Ri Pyong Chol, Kim's second-in-command in the military, was seen aboard the train. It's worth mentioning that Ri is a subject of US and UN sanctions due to his pivotal role in leading the country's ballistic missile programs during his tenure as the former head of the Department of the Munitions Industry.

Kim Jong Un walks down a red carpet to a crowd of onlookers and officials
Kim Jong Un walks down a red carpet to a crowd of onlookers and officials

Previous images released by KCNA showcased Kim walking down a red carpet at a Pyongyang station and boarding the distinctive green train. These images captured a crowd of onlookers enthusiastically cheering in the background while waving flags. Neither country has disclosed the specific timing or location of the impending visit.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov informed reporters, as reported by Russian state media TASS, that the location of the meeting is not being disclosed at this time, but he did mention that the encounter between the two leaders is expected to take place in "the next few days."

Peskov has emphasized that the primary focus of the meeting will be on bilateral relations between the two nations. This encounter will be a comprehensive visit, encompassing discussions involving both delegations.

Additionally, the discussions are expected to delve into "sensitive areas," as mentioned by Peskov. Furthermore, a formal dinner is scheduled in honor of Kim's arrival.

The Russian Far East region encompasses an extensive expanse of territory, sharing land borders with China, North Korea, and Mongolia. According to South Korean news agency Yonhap, the train believed to be carrying Kim seems to be heading towards a destination further north than the eastern port of Vladivostok. It appears to be moving toward Khabarovsk province, which borders China, as indicated by reports from multiple local sources in Vladivostok.

It's worth noting that on Tuesday, Putin was present in Vladivostok for the Eastern Economic Forum, where he delivered an address highlighting Russia's trade prospects with countries in the Asia Pacific region.

Russia's trade with other countries in the region added 18.3 percent in only six months of this year. Trade with countries of the Asia Pacific region will be developing even further.- Vladimir Putin

During the forum, Putin held a meeting with China's Vice Premier Zhang Guoqing on the sidelines. According to reports from Russian state media agencies, Putin expressed that the relations between Russia and China have achieved an "unprecedented historical level."

Onlookers cheer and wave as Kim Jong Un departs North Korean
Onlookers cheer and wave as Kim Jong Un departs North Korean

An Unusual Journey For Kim

Kim's arrival in Russia represents a rare foreign journey for the leader of one of the world's most isolated nations. It marks his first international visit since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to the sealing of North Korea's borders.

Throughout his tenure since assuming power in 2011, Kim has ventured abroad on only ten occasions, with all these trips occurring in 2018 and 2019. These visits coincided with a series of negotiations concerning North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile programs.

Kim's most recent visit to Russia took place in April 2019 when he traveled to Vladivostok and had his first meeting with Putin. This meeting occurred against the backdrop of the ongoing and unresolved crisis regarding North Korea's nuclear program and the faltering dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington.

In a manner reminiscent of his 2019 visit, the North Korean leader arrived in Russia on Tuesday, utilizing his distinctive and well-known green train. This iconic train has come to symbolize the hermit nation's isolation and penchant for secrecy.

Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, and his father, Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un has demonstrated a preference for traveling in this luxurious armored train, which has long been a source of fascination and intrigue.

Cautionary Words From Washington

In the lead-up to a potential meeting between Kim and Putin, Washington expressed its apprehensions. This came in the wake of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu's visit to Pyongyang in July, where he sought to persuade North Korea to supply artillery ammunition to Moscow.

Last Tuesday, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan issued a cautionary statement, asserting that North Korea would face consequences if it were to engage in an arms deal with Russia. However, he refrained from specifying the potential ramifications.

Furthermore, on Monday, the White House issued an appeal to North Korea, urging it to refrain from providing or selling arms to Russia.

As we have warned publicly, arms discussions between Russia and the DPRK are expected to continue during Kim Jong Un’s trip to Russia.- National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson

North Korea currently faces sanctions from both the United Nations and the United States due to its weapons program.

Despite these sanctions, Kim Jong Un has been rapidly advancing his ballistic missile program over the past two years. During this period, he conducted numerous missile tests, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that, in theory, could carry a nuclear warhead to the mainland United States.

Kim Jong Un shakes hand with officials at a Pyongyang station before departing
Kim Jong Un shakes hand with officials at a Pyongyang station before departing

However, there are lingering uncertainties regarding the full extent of North Korea's capabilities.

Should Kim gain access to technology from Russia, a global powerhouse in nuclear missile forces for many years, it could provide a substantial boost to his existing programs. This prospect is viewed with great concern by Western leaders, as highlighted by analysts.

Leif-Eric Easley, a professor of international studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, emphasized the significance of a one-on-one meeting between Kim and Putin, describing it as a "very significant development" in an interview.

Russia has the military technology that Kim wants for his illegal satellite launch and nuclear weapons delivery programs.- Leif-Eric Easley

Moscow has a significant demand for ammunition and small arms, both of which are areas where analysts believe North Korea possesses robust production capabilities.

"North Korea makes good what I call heavy industrial weapons," said Carl Schuster, a former director of operations at the US Pacific Command’s Joint Intelligence Center. "Its artillery and ammunition is very good. It’s very similar to Russian designs."

Nevertheless, some experts argue that North Korean ammunition would not significantly alter the dynamics for Russia in the Ukrainian conflict.

"These [arms] could help replenish depleted stocks and prolong the conflict but are not going to change its direction," said Joseph Dempsey, research associate for defense and military analysis at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Following the release of reports in September 2022 regarding North Korean arms sales to Russia, a representative from the North Korean Defense Ministry stated that Pyongyang had never engaged in weapon or ammunition exports to Russia in the past and had no intentions of doing so in the future.

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Cecilia Jones

Cecilia Jones - Cecilia Jones loves to write about movies, music, and the most popular and exciting news.

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