North Korea rolls out the red carpet for nuclear ally Russia as Putin’s war chief visits Pyongyang

  • Putin’s defence minister launched into a three-day go to to the repressive state
  • Chinese officers have joined the Russian defence minister in capital Pyongyang 

North Korea rolled out the red carpet for Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu this week amid suspicions his go to to Pyongyang will see him safe new weapons and ammunition for a ‘lengthy war’ in Ukraine. 

Vladimir Putin’s right-hand man is on a three-day go to to the repressive state, the place he’ll take part in celebrations commemorating the 70th anniversary of the signing of the 1953 Korean War armistice, North Korea’s ‘Victory Day’.

Shoigu, wearing a normal’s uniform, stepped off his aircraft to be greeted by the Russian nationwide anthem and a whole bunch of uniformed troopers holding placards welcoming him to Pyongyang earlier this week. 

A high-level Chinese delegation, led by Politburo member Li Hongzhong, was additionally welcomed.

During their time in North Korea, the Russian and Chinese officers will witness a navy parade showcasing dictator Kim Jong-un’s arsenal of nuclear weapons. 

But it’s thought the goal of Shoigu’s go to could also be to spice up the provide of artillery shells for his forces in Putin’s war in Ukraine.

This image taken on July 25, 2023 and launched by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency reveals Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (centre) arriving at Pyongyang International Airport
Shoigu, proper, is welcomed by North Korean Defence Minister Kang Sun Nam in Pyongyang on Tuesday
The guard of honour of the Korean People’s Army stand underneath a banner with the inscription ‘Welcome, Comrade Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (2nd left from) attends a ceremony of the official assembly of the Russian delegation with the participation of the guard of honour of the Korean People’s Army

Analysts say the spectacle of navy would possibly offered by the hermit kingdom’s Kim Jong-un will embody the North’s nuclear-tipped missiles banned by the United Nations Security Council, the place Russia and China are everlasting members.

The visits are the first identified international delegations to go to North Korea since the pandemic started, and are available as Pyongyang has appeared to deepen ties with Beijing and Moscow, discovering frequent floor in rivalries with the West.

Images from Russia’s defence ministry and North Korean media confirmed Shoigu being warmly greeted by North Korean defence minister Kang Sun Nam and Russian ambassador Alexander Matsegora at the airport.

The US has accused North Korea of offering weapons to Russia throughout the war in Ukraine, together with an arms supply of infantry rockets and missiles to the Kremlin-backed Wagner mercenary group in November 2022.

Pyongyang and Moscow have denied these claims, however Kim has vowed to bolster strategic cooperation between the nations. The Moscow Times reported Russia is utilizing North Korean weapons to shore up deficits in Ukraine in alternate for assist with Kim’s nuclear programme. 

Park Won-gon, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, mentioned the reality Russia’s defence minister flew to Pyongyang whereas his nation was at war is ‘very vital’.

The go to comes as Putin is reportedly making ready for a ‘lengthy war’. The Russian president acted this week to swell the numbers of younger males he can conscript, extending the obligatory draft age by three years and cracking down on exemptions and the means to evade navy service.

A detailed ally Col-Gen Andrey Kartapolov, a Russian MP and loyalist parliamentary defence committee chairman, instructed the legislature: ‘This legislation was written for a giant war, for normal mobilisation.’

This image taken on July 25, 2023 and launched by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 26 reveals North Korean chief Kim Jong Un (C) visiting the Fatherland Liberation War Martyrs Cemetery on the event of the 70th anniversary of the victory in the nice Fatherland Liberation War
This image taken on July 25, 2023 and launched by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 26 reveals war veterans and residents laying wreaths at the Patriotic Martyrs Cemetery in Sinmi-ri, Pyongyang on the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Fatherland Liberation War
FILE – This picture offered by the North Korean authorities, reveals what it says is Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missiles throughout a navy parade to mark the 75th founding anniversary of the Korean People’s Army on Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea on Feb. 8, 2023

Meanwhile, Kim Jong-un’s navy parade in Pyongyang is prone to embody as many as 15,000 personnel and probably characteristic new designs of nuclear-capable weapons, mentioned Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.

Commercial satellite tv for pc imagery over current weeks confirmed members practising, together with in Kim Il Sung Square the place the occasion will happen, with formations exhibiting the quantity ’70’ and different slogans, mentioned Dave Schmerler, a researcher at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS).

At a coaching floor outdoors Pyongyang, items seemed to be practising marching round the sq. monitor with automobiles behind them, Schmerler added, citing imagery offered to Reuters by US-based agency Umbra, which used radar imaging satellites to see via cloud cowl.

Kim kicked off his commemorations this week with visits to a cemetery for Chinese troopers who fought in the war, identified as the Fatherland Liberation War, state media KCNA reported on Wednesday. The solely defence treaty China and North Korea have is with one another.

Kim additionally visited the Fatherland Liberation War Martyrs Cemetery on Monday, KCNA reported, as he praised the troopers for ‘inflicting defeat’ on US imperialism.

Amid worldwide sanctions over North Korea’s missile and nuclear programmes – which each Moscow and Beijing voted to impose – China has turn out to be by far North Korea’s largest buying and selling accomplice. 

China’s exports to its secretive neighbour in June had been eight instances larger than a 12 months earlier than, and Russia and China have rebuffed current makes an attempt by the United States and a few European international locations to impose new sanctions on North Korea.

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