Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Kim Jong Un tours Putin’s military arsenal, raising concerns about possible military alliance

Kim Jong Un’s visit sparks concern, but high-ranking U.S. general downplays potential threat, according to NYP.

The North Korean leader travelled to the airport in the port city of Vladivostok in eastern Russia. Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and other senior Russian military officials gave him a tour of Russian warplanes. Kim saw the Tu-160, Tu-95 and Tu-22 bombers that regularly launch cruise missiles at Ukraine.

Shoigu, flanked by Lieutenant General Sergei Kobylash, commander of Russia’s long-range bombers, told Kim that the Tu-160 bomber had recently been equipped with new missiles with a range of more than 4,040 miles.

The comments to Kim Jong Un were the first confirmation of the new missiles’ deployment since the Russian military leadership said the weapons were under development.

Shoigu also demonstrated the Kinzhal hypersonic missile. Mounted on MiG-31 fighters, it was first used in Ukraine. The missile can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads and reaches speeds of more than 7,600 mph.

Kim also held four-hour talks with Putin on Wednesday. The North Korean leader’s visit suggests potential cooperation between Pyongyang and Moscow.

The U.S. accuses North Korea of sending munitions, artillery and missiles to Russia. South Korean officials say North Korean weapons have been used in the Kremlin’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the alliance between the two countries might not matter much in the long run. At a NATO meeting in Norway, Milley acknowledged that the meeting between Kim and Putin would likely end in an agreement. Under the proposed agreement, North Korea will supply artillery to Moscow. However, the timing and scope of the deal remains unclear.

“Would it have a huge difference? I’m skeptical of that. I doubt that it would be decisive.”

The general also suggested that in exchange for supplies, Kim would likely receive advanced weapons or military technology from Russia.

Admiral Rob Bauer of the Netherlands, chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, said during Saturday’s meeting that Ukraine still needed weapons and ammunition. However, the amount of supplies needed is so large that it creates a burden on the production of weapons around the world.

When they think about giving away weapons or ammunition, they have to think … what is the risk that I take against my own readiness?

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to visit the White House in the coming week while travelling to the United States for the UN General Assembly. Congress is debating President Joe Biden’s request to send another $24 billion in military and humanitarian aid to help Ukraine in its ongoing war.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, during a White House press briefing, emphasised the importance of Kim Jong Un’s visit to Russia with the following words:

“It certainly comes at a critical time, as Russia desperately seeks help from countries like North Korea for its brutal war in Ukraine, as Ukrainian forces continue to make progress in their counteroffensive, and just after the next Ukraine defence contact group meeting that [Defence] Secretary Austin is organising with dozens of our allies and partners in Europe earlier next week.”

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