Brace for Kim Jong Un’s Dazzling Date Night With Putin


A very special guest is about to visit Kim Jong-Un, according to multiple reports, and if history is any indication, the North Korean leader will be pulling out all the stops to woo his visitor from Russia.

Several Russian and South Korean news outlets have reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin will be visiting North Korea as soon as next week, and there are already some signs that Pyongyang will be rolling out the red carpet for his Russian counterpart.

A large new structure was spotted in satellite images this week that could be part of the preparations underway for the high-level visit, VOA reported.

North Korea has previously established structures in the square—named after Kim’s grandfather—in advance of visits from high-ranking officials. It frequently uses the square to host military spectacles and drills to project an image of military might to the world. Past parades have included thousands of carefully coordinated troops marching in formation and military drills, as well as tank battalions, rocket launchers, and intercontinental ballistic missiles on display, for instance. Kim Jong-un just this September observed a military parade in Kim Il-Sung Square to celebrate the country’s founding anniversary.

The visit would mark Putin’s third meeting with Kim.

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While sanctions have isolated Russia on the world stage, its military partnership with North Korea has only deepened in recent months. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited North Korea last year with the intention to increase weapons sales to Russia. Last fall, Kim visited Moscow in what his first foreign trip since 2019. The North Korean leader made several stops in the tour, which was focused on military equipment and aircraft.

The partnership has impacted the war in Ukraine as well. Early this year, the White House accused Russia of using North Korean missiles in Ukraine. North Korea also sent more than 1,000 containers of military equipment and munitions to Russia for use in the war, the White House National Security Council said in October.

As of late May, Russia has used more than 40 North Korean-produced ballistic missiles, according to the State Department.

Kim and Putin have also exchanged congratulatory and flattering messages in recent hours. “Thanks to the significant meeting between us at the Vostochney Spaceport in September last year, [North Korea]-Russia friendly and cooperative relations developed into an unbreakable relationship of comrades-in-arms,” Kim said in a message, according to North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency.

The Kremlin noted on Thursday that it maintains the right to build its relationship with North Korea.

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“We believe that our right to develop good relations with our neighbors should not be of concern to anyone and cannot and should not be challenged by anyone,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, adding that North Korea is a "friendly” country for Russia.

The blossoming relationship has stirred concern in Washington over the the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “We condemn the DPRK for providing Russia with this military equipment, which will be used to attack Ukrainian cities, kill Ukrainian civilians, and further Russia’s illegitimate war,” John Kirby, a White House National Security Communications Advisor, told reporters on a call in the fall.

The White House has also suggested that Russia may, in return, provide North Korea fighter aircraft, surface-to-air missiles, armored vehicles, ballistic missile production equipment, and other advanced technologies. In September, Kim visited a facility producing Russian fighter jets during his visit to Russia.

The State Department labeled the burgeoning relationship "a wide-ranging threat to global security and the international non-proliferation regime” in a statement last month.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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