According to reports from U.S. and allied sources, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is reportedly planning to travel to Russia later this month for discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin concerning potential weapon supplies for the conflict in Ukraine, as reported by The New York Times on Monday.
Kim’s journey is expected to originate from Pyongyang, with the likelihood of him utilizing an armored train, heading towards Vladivostok, situated on Russia’s Pacific Coast. However, the White House has yet to provide an official response to these reports.
This prospective trip takes place amidst ongoing discussions between Russia and North Korea regarding joint military exercises. Furthermore, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had previously made efforts during a visit to North Korea to persuade Pyongyang to consider supplying artillery ammunition to Russia.
The United States has previously expressed concerns over the possibility of North Korea supplying additional weaponry to Russia. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has been met with strong opposition from the United States and its European allies. Moscow, however, characterizes the conflict as a “special military operation.”
John Kirby, the White House national security spokesman, emphasized on August 30th that the United States is actively monitoring the progress of arms negotiations between North Korea and Russia, reflecting the administration’s concerns over these developments.