The meeting between Kim Jong-Un and Vladimir Putin is closely scrutinized by Ukraine and its allies. They fear seeing the North Korean regime sell weapons to Russia.

The meeting between Kim Jong-Un and Vladimir Putin is a thunderclap on the international scene. It marks a new stage in the attempt at military cooperation between the two countries. Ukraine’s allies fear that Russia is sourcing weapons from North Korea, due to Russia’s growing international isolation and arms shortages on the Ukrainian front.

Washington and its allies have warned North Korea that it would face sanctions if it supplied weapons to Russia. However, the meeting between Kim Jong-Un and Vladimir Putin suggests that Russia is willing to take risks to obtain military equipment. Putin thus expressed “prospects” of military cooperation with the North Korean regime.

Westerners are worried that Russia is turning to North Korea for weapons. They fear this will allow Moscow to support its war effort in Ukraine.

Moscow hopes, secretly for the moment, to obtain an agreement on munitions and artillery bombs according to the BBC. Supplies that Pyongyang has in large quantities. Military cooperation between Russia and North Korea would be a victory for Kim Jong-Un’s regime. The North Korean regime is isolated and under international sanctions. A military cooperation agreement with Russia would allow it to strengthen its position and obtain weapons and potentially develop advanced technologies. A military contract would therefore be beneficial to both powers.

Russia needs military equipment to continue its war in Ukraine. International sanctions have hit its defense industry hard, and munitions stocks are dwindling. The meeting between Kim Jong-Un and Vladimir Putin is an attempt by Russia to diversify its sources of arms supply. Russia is already dependent on China. However, Xi Jinping is not willing to respond to Russia’s new needs.

North Korea, for its part, is an experienced arms producer with a diverse arsenal. In the immediate future, it is difficult to say whether an arms supply agreement will be concluded between the two countries.

KCNA, North Korea’s news agency, said the Russian president would visit North Korea soon. Moscow, for its part, has proposed sending a North Korean astronaut into space. But no agreement on deliveries of military equipment between the two countries has yet been announced. Kim Jong-Un was content to provide his regime’s official support to Russia: “We are convinced that the Russian army and people will achieve a great victory in the sacred struggle to punish the gathering of evil.”

“Russia has considerable needs” in ammunition and heavy weapons, declared General Jérôme Pellistrandi, defense consultant for BFMTV on September 13, 2023. The country ruled with an iron fist by Vladimir Putin is increasingly dependent on China, but it is also seeking to diversify its sources of supply. The shortage of ammunition has been a recurring problem since the start of the war in Ukraine, for both Russia and Ukraine.

According to Le Monde, the meeting between Putin and Jong-Un “testifies to Russia’s desperation” in its war in Ukraine. It can be compared to the Russian-Iranian relationship. Tehran would indeed supply drones to Moscow, even if Iran officially denies this. Anatoly Antonov, Russian ambassador to the United States, criticized Washington’s comment on Telegram: “Washington’s duplicity is absolutely nothing new: the Americans can supply weapons to a hot spot – that is -say Ukraine − but Russian military-technical cooperation with foreign countries, according to the logic of the American government, is illegal.”