Concerns Rise Over Potential Pact Between North Korea and Russia, Sparking Global Tensions

Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) has raised concerns over the possibility of a troubling alliance between Moscow and Pyongyang as North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un’s visit to Russia unfolds. This potential cooperation has set off alarm bells among U.S. officials, who fear it could further escalate tensions between North Korea and the West.

Coons expressed his apprehension on MSNBC, emphasizing North Korea’s desperate need for additional equipment and support, particularly in light of Russia’s ongoing military efforts. Kim Jong Un’s regime possesses a substantial arsenal of artillery and military resources, making it a potentially enticing partner for Russia in exchange for strategic gains.

One ominous possibility is the Kremlin providing advanced technology to assist Pyongyang in constructing a nuclear-armed submarine or successfully launching intercontinental ballistic missiles—ambitions that Kim has been eager to pursue. In return, Moscow might seek access to North Korea’s considerable stockpiles of artillery shells, even if they are not of the highest quality, as Coons suggested.

This uneasy prospect of cooperation is not entirely new. Earlier this month, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby revealed that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had recently attempted to convince North Korea to sell artillery ammunition to Moscow during a visit to the reclusive state.

The news of Kim Jong Un’s expected visit to Russia by the end of September was confirmed by a U.S. official last week. On Monday, the Kremlin officially announced his imminent arrival in “the coming days.” Senator Coons, a close ally of the Biden administration, believes that the leaked intelligence regarding the trip underscores the White House’s efforts to either deter or, at the very least, raise the costs of this meeting by making it public.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan has also weighed in on the situation, warning that if Pyongyang indeed provides weapons to Moscow for its military efforts, it will not bode well for North Korea in the international arena, and they will likely face consequences for such actions. As the world watches this potentially alarming development unfold, the delicate balance of power and alliances in the region remains at stake, with implications that extend far beyond the meeting itself.

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