Kim Jong Un and Putin to Hold Summit, Sparking U.S. Security Concerns


Russian President Vladimir Putin meets North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un on April 25, 2019 in Vladivostok, Russia.
(Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on an official state visit, according to an announcement from the Kremlin. This news was corroborated by North Korean state-run media, which stated that Kim is visiting Russia upon Putin’s invitation and will hold a summit during his visit.

The meeting between the two leaders has sparked concern among U.S. officials due to the potential strategic implications for U.S. security. Rebekah Koffler, a strategic military intelligence analyst, expressed her concerns, stating, “Two of our top adversaries are joining forces, expanding military-industrial cooperation.” She went on to say, “Russia possesses one of the world’s most extensive know-how in nuclear arms and space technology. The fact that it will be sharing this know-how with North Korea is not a good thing for the United States.”

Koffler also mentioned the potential benefits for both countries from this cooperation. She believes Russia can provide North Korea with food and access to the COVID-19 vaccine amidst a deepening food crisis in the country. On the other hand, North Korea can supply Russia with munitions, which could support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Negotiations between Russia and North Korea have been “actively advancing,” according to U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby. He revealed information regarding potential deals where Russia would receive significant quantities of munitions from North Korea, which could be used in Ukraine.

However, Adrienne Watson, another NSC spokesperson, noted that North Korea had previously stated that it was not willing to sell arms to Russia. She urged North Korea to abide by its public commitments not to provide or sell arms to Russia.

The meeting between Kim and Putin sends a message of defiance to the West, according to Koffler. “Another, less tangible benefit for the two dictators is that the Putin-Kim meeting is upsetting Washington,” she said. “Neither would miss an opportunity to irk the U.S.”


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