Early Wednesday morning Russian President Vladimir Putin was welcomed with a red carpet upon his arrival in North Korea. It is his first trip to the dictatorial regime in twenty-four years. Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, met Mr. Putin on the tarmac upon his arrival. Under the watchful eye of a military guard of honor, the two leaders had a lengthy and enthusiastic discussion. Both leaders had previously met in September 2023 at the Vostochny cosmodrome in the far eastern part of Russia. But this is Putin’s first trip to Pyongyang since 2000. Their relations have improved recently, especially in the wake of Russia’s full-scale military invasion of Ukraine. Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, North Korea has continuously sided with Russia; it voted against the UN resolution denouncing Russia’s invasion and joined Russia in recognizing Luhansk and Donetsk as separate republics.

Both the US and South Korea are concerned that North Korea has been providing Russia with large quantities of artillery shells and other munitions, which are said to be meant for use against Ukraine. North Korea has refuted these claims, nevertheless. According to South Korean Defence Minister Shin Won-sik in a recent interview, North Korea might have sent Russia up to five million shells and several ballistic missiles. Shin claims that Russia has been helping North Korea with its financial problems by sending containers—probably with food and other kind of aid. Russia responded in March by doing Pyongyang a political favor and voting in support of the UN Security Council panel dissolution of the North Korea sanctions monitoring system. The two increasingly isolated nations have engaged in a sequence of bilateral diplomatic and cultural interactions during the past year. Visits by Russia’s defense minister and North Korea’s foreign minister have been part of these exchanges. Kim Jong Un visited testing facilities and weapons plants a lot during the same period.

Before Putin arrived, he praised North Korea in a letter that appeared in the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper. He praised North Korea for supporting Russia’s military operations and presented the two countries as fighting a parallel conflict against the United States and its supporters.

The Russian supremo pledged to establish alternative trade and settlement systems that are independent of Western supervision, as well as create a fair and unified security framework in Eurasia. Additionally, efforts will be made to enhance interpersonal connections. Yuri Ushakov, Putin’s foreign policy adviser, suggests that instead of previous bilateral agreements, the presidents have the option to sign a comprehensive strategic cooperation treaty.

On the other hand, North Korean experts in both the US and South Korea are not sure if the friendship will grow much beyond the current talks. Cho Han-bum, a researcher at the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul, a government think tank, says, “The upcoming visit will probably be a kind of political lip service.” He also says that it will help Putin keep Kim Jong Un’s support during the long war and raise Kim’s profile both at home and abroad. “Once the war in Ukraine ends, North Korea will no longer be important to Russia,” says Cho. Compared to trade between Russia and South Korea is much more as compared to North Korea. Based on its relationship with South Korea, the Institute for National Security Strategy, a think tank connected with South Korea’s top intelligence agency, says that Russia would be cautious about making big offers to the North, like giving the North advanced military technology or signing a mutual defense treaty commented by Jenny Town in-charge of the Korea Programme at the Stimson Centre, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank for foreign policy. She says that even if the two countries agree on more military cooperation, they would not want to make it official or make it public.

Many of North Korea’s military activities are also restricted by sanctions. The country also tries to be self-sufficient and avoids appearing to depend on other countries.

The latest summit between Kim and Putin may change China’s strategy. This development has created both challenges and opportunities for China. Historically, China has consistently been North Korea’s primary ally and a crucial source of economic support. This connection ensures the stability of the region and grants them authority over Pyongyang. However, the growing closeness between Russia and North Korea could make it harder for Beijing to fully control North Korea on its own, which would have an impact on China’s strategic goals. Russia and North Korea are working together more, which could be seen as a way to weaken the US’s position as the leader in East Asia. This is in line with China’s goal of stopping American domination. Because of recent events, China might need to rethink its political and economic goals to make sure it can keep having a long-lasting effect on North Korea.

Russia gives North Korea help with the specific goal of making its military stronger, especially when it comes to its nuclear weapons project. This could make it harder for China to reach its goals of promoting peace in the area and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons. There will be even more trouble on the Korean Peninsula because of this.

China has been the leader in this business for a long time, so it’s possible that the new measures will make it harder for North Koreans to get instruments and get economic opportunities.

The Chinese government might decide to step up its diplomatic efforts with Russia and North Korea to help people understand each other better and protect China’s position as the dominant country in the area. There is a chance that people who are against the US plan will work together after Putin and Kim discuss it. Also, it would give China new problems that it would have to carefully deal with in order to keep its strong control over the area. China needs to deal with and solve these problems right away.

There will be big and sudden changes in the world’s politics after the meeting between Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un. This meeting is very important to the United States of America. The West is putting more pressure on North Korea, which is making its separation from other countries worse. This meeting makes it clear that North Korea and Russia want to work together more. There have been a lot of armed events in the US since the peace process started. The sanctions against North Korea might not work as well if things keep going the way they are. They are more likely to keep talking about nukes. North Korea and China could work together to help Russia win its war with the West. Along with other places, this makes it harder for the US to weaken Russia’s power. Big changes could happen in the safety of the Asia-Pacific area because of this link. Since new threats come up all the time, the US will have to change its plans for the military and the government. Things between Russia and North Korea could change a lot when Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin meet. Changes like these could hurt the US’s long-term plans and make things worse in other places.

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