Putin and Kim Jong-un in conversation for more than two hours: ‘Russia has to beg’
Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin spoke for more than two hours in Vladivostok about what the countries can do for each other. According to the North Korean leader, it is the ‘highest’ priority that the countries continue to support each other. “Putin cryptically stated that he had discussed arms deliveries,” says Russia correspondent Joost Bosman.
There has been speculation in recent days that the meeting would mainly focus on arms deliveries. The Russian media did everything they could to debunk that. ‘After the conversation Putin came outside. He told a reporter from Russian state television that the conversation was mainly about education, transport, port cooperation and even corona,” says Bosman.
When the Russian reporter asked about arms deliveries, Putin let things slip. ‘He said very carefully that Russia is bound by the imposed sanctions, but that there is always room to talk about it. All in all, Putin suggested that it had been discussed after all,” Bosman said.
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Million Korean grenades
Russia is facing a serious shortage of artillery ammunition. According to Bosman, North Korea may therefore supply artillery shells to Russia. ‘North Korea has a million of those grenades. Russia can really use that. Russia cannot make these ‘dumb bombs’ fast enough itself and that is why the country now has to beg from North Korea.’
If actual cooperation gets off the ground, the question is whether China will also agree to this. ‘China functions as breadwinner for both countries and must also agree to this cooperation. It could significantly change the balance of power between China, North Korea and Russia. And the question is whether China is ready for that,” Bosman said.
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