Part Two of the Feast of Dass and Hammer in the Kremlin

کیم و‌پوتین: عهد اخوت برای اسلحه

Parisa Pasandepour
9 Min Read
Part Two of the Feast of Dass and Hammer in the Kremlin

Dinner of Das and Chekhov in the Kremlin

According to Iran Gate, a collaboration between Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin took place at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Far East of Russia on Thursday, September 13. Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, pledged full and unconditional support for Russia’s holy struggle to defend its interests and stated that Pyongyang will always stand alongside Moscow in the anti-imperialist front.

Kim made these statements on the sidelines of a bilateral meeting at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Amur region of the Far East of Russia. In a video released by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, the two leaders were seen chatting very friendly and shaking hands.

In response to a question about whether he and Kim will discuss weapons preparations or not, Putin replied that they will discuss all issues. Shortly before the meeting, Pyongyang launched two short-range ballistic missiles from the Sonan region, which observers see as a show of power to demonstrate their military readiness and capabilities.

If all of this indicates that Westocheni’s participation lays the foundations of a new anti-Western axis, the United States has previously warned two countries that a potential agreement on arms and military technology exchange would violate UN resolutions, which would have unpleasant consequences for both of them.

Technology in exchange for weapons

At the end of this two-and-a-half-hour face-to-face meeting, Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, responded to media speculation about a possible arms exchange with technology by stating that the West has undermined many commitments and agreements by sending weapons from the Soviet era to Ukraine.

Kim has not explicitly discussed a potential arms deal, but he has promised to support Russia’s just fight, which has been interpreted as a reference to the war in Ukraine. Russia is currently engaged in a just struggle against hegemonic forces to defend its rights, security, and interests. I take this opportunity to announce that we will always be on the anti-imperialist and independent front alongside Russia.

In this trip, senior military officials from North Korea, including officials responsible for weapon production, space technology, as well as the Marshal of the Korean People’s Army, Pak Jong Chon, and the director of the ammunition industry, Jang Chun Son, accompanied each other. These details, which are evident in the absence of public announcements and press conferences, indicate that the focus of this meeting was likely military cooperation between the two countries.

Mutual assistance

Moscow is one of the few representatives of North Korea’s communist regime, a highly isolated country known as the ‘hermit kingdom’ and, like Russia, is under severe international sanctions. After the attack on Ukraine in February 2022 and the weakening of Moscow’s position, it was natural for Pyongyang and Moscow to seek support from each other. However, this cooperation and closeness between the two countries is driven by Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un’s different desires and goals.

The President of Russia, who is in need of significant military resources in the conflict with Ukraine, is seeking weapons that North Korea, equipped with a vast defense industry capable of large-scale production, can provide. However, if the agreement between Russia and North Korea is reached, the consequences will extend far beyond the conflict in Ukraine.

In reality, North Korea’s dictatorship is pursuing technology, especially submarines and satellites, for its nuclear program. The meeting in remote Siberian facilities, from where Russian S-2 missiles are launched, indicates Kim’s interest in seeking help from Moscow in building military reconnaissance satellites, which are crucial for North Korea’s ambitions.

As the latest request from Pyongyang, which is not insignificant, it can be mentioned that North Korean leader’s hope for receiving humanitarian aid to help alleviate the country’s serious crisis in the agricultural sector. This crisis has intensified with the country’s borders being closed and further isolation from the outside world due to the COVID epidemic.

Beijing is on edge.

It must be acknowledged that the military cooperation between Russia and North Korea is not only concerning for the United States, but China also looks at the growing relations between its two neighbors with concern. According to Bloomberg, although the Chinese government has officially stated that the North Korean leader’s trip to Russia is about the two countries and their mutual relations, Beijing officials have expressed doubts about their potential military cooperation.

Chung Sung-chang from the Sejong Institute told French news agency that unlike Russia, China does not want to worsen its relations with the United States. Therefore, it has no interest in expanding military cooperation with them. Observers point out that currently, in addition to softening the serious crisis in the real estate sector and slowing down its previous rapid growth, one of Beijing’s priorities is to revive its relations with European powers and manage its relations with the United States.

For this reason, according to Feodor Tertitskiy from the Korea Studies Institute at Kookmin University in Seoul, neutralizing the West’s strategy in Beijing is important. Tertitskiy suggests that President Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, or any other responsible official should send their ambassador to China, because if China tells Putin that we are unhappy with this issue, it is our sphere of influence and we don’t want you to trade with them, Putin will likely agree because he cannot anger the Chinese.

According to analysts, Kim Jong-un, who has met with Putin for the first time in the past four years, has clear demands from the Russian President. North Korea’s recent unsuccessful satellite launch has shown that they need space technology to complete their nuclear program. It is certain that these demands were discussed during the meeting in Vladivostok, but it is not a direction or path that Beijing approves or desires.

Pyongyang is an essential ally for deterring American forces from the northeastern borders of the People’s Republic of China. However, Kim Jong-un’s repeated nuclear and missile challenges are also a source of discomfort for the international community, including China, especially at a time when he is trying to improve relations with the West. A military agreement between Pyongyang and Moscow, which could lead to a new season of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, is not a scenario that Beijing views positively.

The feast of Das and Hammer in the Kremlin


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Master's Degree in International Relations from the Faculty of Diplomatic Sciences and International Relations, Genoa, Italy.