Kim’s Russian gambit: Redrawing global battle lines

Pyongyang (Caasimada Online) – A potential game-changing geopolitical shift is on the horizon, as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un prepares to travel to Russia. His aim? To discuss the strategic exchange of weapons and technology with President Vladimir Putin, as per sources from the New York Times.

This would mean North Korea might supply artillery shells and antitank missiles to Russia, receiving Moscow’s advanced satellite and nuclear-powered submarine technology in return.

In a rare foray outside his borders, Kim’s mode of transportation to Vladivostok, a port city near North Korea, is expected to be an armored train – reminiscent of his father’s signature travel style.

The last significant visit to Russia from North Korea’s leadership was Kim Jong Il, who opted for the safety of his armored train and visited just a few months before his passing in 2011.

U.S. concerns and the Cold War echoes

The United States has, expectedly, voiced concerns over the growing camaraderie between Russia and North Korea.

Russia’s Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu, when queried about the potential joint military exercises with North Korea, responded with an old Russian proverb: “You don’t choose your neighbors, and it’s better to live with your neighbors in peace and harmony.”

Yonhap, South Korea’s leading news agency, recently highlighted South Korea’s intelligence agency’s insights into a proposal by Shoigu. The proposition? A trilateral naval exercise involving China, North Korea, and Russia.

Reflecting on their shared history, Moscow’s intentions to enhance its “mutually respectful relations” with Pyongyang, a cherished Cold War ally, comes as no surprise.

Moreover, Russia’s recent declaration about annexing parts of Ukraine in 2022 garnered support from a select few countries, with North Korea being prominent among them.

A changing landscape in military alliances

Noteworthy is the increasing momentum of military alliances. Last week, the U.S. shared its apprehensions regarding the arms negotiation progress between North Korea and Russia.

The recent visit of Shoigu to North Korea for the “Victory Day” celebrations, marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, saw him reportedly having private dialogues with Kim.

Contrary to the rising speculations, Russia’s ambassador to North Korea, Alexander Matsegora, communicated to the TASS news agency about his unawareness of North Korea’s involvement in the speculated trilateral military drills.

However, he felt it would be “appropriate” given the U.S.-led activities in the region.

Amidst all this, North Korea has consistently refuted claims of “arms dealings” with Russia. Meanwhile, the United States sanctions entities allegedly connected to such deals.

This new alliance formation sheds light on the region’s evolving dynamics of military exercises.

While North Korea has kept its military exercises with neighbors minimal, the U.S. and its ally, South Korea, often engage in regular drills, which North Korea perceives as war preparations against them.