OAN’s James Meyers
12:50 PM – Tuesday, September 5, 2023
North Korea’s Leader Kim Jong Un is reportedly planning on visiting Russia this month for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The meeting is reportedly over the possibility of an arms sale to support Russia in their ongoing war with Ukraine, the White House said on Monday.
The New York Times reported on Monday, Kim is planning on meeting with the Kremlin at the Eastern Economic Forum at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, Russia. The forum is scheduled to take place from September 10th to the 13th.
This comes after U.S. officials claimed arms sales were discussed between the two sides during a trip to Pyongyang in July by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, which was the first visit by a defense minister since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.
“We have information that Kim Jong Un expects these discussions to continue, to include leader-level diplomatic engagement in Russia,” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement.
Putin did not confirm the reports on Tuesday, “We have nothing to say on this topic,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov said at a news briefing.
The Kremlin wants North Korea to supply Russia with artillery shells and anti tank missiles. Kim, in return, wants Russia to give North Korea advanced technology for satellites and nuclear-powered submarines, according to The New York Times.
Watson added during the press conference that the U.S. urges North Korea “to cease its arms negotiations with Russia and abide by the public commitments that Pyongyang has made to not provide or sell arms to Russia.”
Additionally, last week, the Biden administration stated arms deal negotiations between the two nations were “actively advancing,” citing they had exchanged letters pledging to increase their cooperation.
Since the Ukraine war began in February 2022, U.S. officials have reportedly released declassified intelligence in an effort to deter North Korea and others from sending weapons to Russia.
Defense Minister Shoigu said on Monday that Russia and North Korea could hold joint military drills.
“We are discussing it with everyone, including DPRK,” he said, using an acronym for North Korea’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “Why not? They are our neighbors.”
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