Following his state visit to Russia, Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, has sent a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping expressing his desire to enhance cooperation with China. North Korean news agency KCNA reported Kim Jong Un’s message in the letter, in which he stated that he is convinced that the friendship and cooperation between the DPRK and China will continue to grow stronger in the new era, aligning with the common desires of both nations.
This letter from Kim is in response to Xi’s congratulatory message sent on the occasion of North Korea’s founding anniversary earlier this month. In his message, Xi expressed his willingness to strengthen strategic communication and cooperation with North Korea.
Kim’s Historic Visit to Russia
During the past week, from Tuesday, September 12, to Sunday, September 17, Kim Jong Un embarked on his first-ever foreign visit, traveling to Russia. Throughout his visit, Kim utilized a special armored train as his mode of transportation.
As a gesture of hospitality, the Russian hosts presented Kim with several gifts, including six drones and bulletproof vests.
This official visit marked Kim Jong Un’s first overseas trip since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. While in Russia, Kim held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, a remote space launch site in eastern Russia.
During their meeting, both leaders exchanged gifts, which included firearms. Putin presented Kim with a Russian-made rifle of “the highest quality,” while Kim gifted Putin with a North Korean rifle.
Exploring Military Cooperation
Kim Jong Un’s visit to Russia coincided with reports of Pyongyang and Moscow exploring arms deals. Russia has been urging North Korea to consider selling weapons to Moscow, primarily to meet Russia’s needs in the conflict in Ukraine.
Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Moscow has faced a series of sanctions and isolation from Western countries, making it more challenging to access materials and weaponry. North Korea, on the other hand, has shown interest in Russian assistance to develop its missile program, which has been criticized by the international community.
However, the Kremlin has stated that no agreements have been signed between Russia and North Korea regarding weapons sales. The details of any potential arms deals remain undisclosed.
Kim Jong Un’s visit to Russia has significant geopolitical implications, as it suggests potential shifts in alliances and cooperation between North Korea, Russia, and China. The international community will closely monitor developments in the region as these countries navigate complex diplomatic and strategic relationships.