Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un have realised they have “nothing to fear” from the West and that they are free to deepen the relations between their countries, a geopolitical analyst believes.
President of Scarab Rising, Inc. Irina Tsukerman said the West has so far provided a lukewarm response to Russia and North Korea cosying up, which has emboldened these countries’ leaders to reportedly prepare for a new show of strength.
Referring to a rumoured meeting between Putin and Mr Kim believed to be happening within days, Ms Tsukerman told Express.co.uk: “Given that thus far the efforts to contain this alliance have amounted to sanctions against money laundering and sanctions-busting cells, Kim and Putin have calculated that they have nothing to fear from becoming openly aligned and engaging in a more coordinated course of action.”
The analyst argued an in-person meeting between Mr Kim and Putin and new, stronger military relations between their country would represent a “show of strength” and a “message” to both dissenters in the Kremlin and the Western bloc, “which sees any engagement with Kim as a dangerous development because North Korea’s dictator has a reputation for being volatile, unpredictable, and ruthless”.
Researcher Nick Strogov also believes Putin’s rumoured meeting with Mr Kim signals the Russian president has little to worry about at the moment when it comes to voices of dissent in his circle.
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He said: “A significant uprising against Putin seems unrealistic at this juncture.”
Referring to the plane crash that killed warlord and Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin last month, which some believe may have happened with the involvement of Moscow despite the Kremlin’s spokesman rejecting this allegation as a “complete lie”, the expert continued: “The elite class remains unsettled following Yevgeny Prigozhin’s demise, serving as a stark reminder that betrayal can lead to an unfavourable fate for anyone.
“Against this backdrop, the growing closeness between Moscow and Pyongyang takes a backseat and is unlikely to trigger disobedience among government officials and oligarchs.”
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US officials have claimed Mr Kim and Putin are planning to meet in Vladivostok, in eastern Russia, to discuss in person an arms deal and improve their military cooperation.
Ms Tsukerman noted Russia is in “dire need” not just of additional weapons, including ammunition and artillery shells, to use in Ukraine but also of chips and various parts for constructing missiles that it is lacking as a result of Western sanctions.
Pyongyang is on the other hand likely looking for food aid after three years of closed borders due to the pandemic ended up further impoverishing the hermit country.
Moreover, Mr Kim may try to obtain from Putin, increasingly desperate to make achievements in Ukraine, what he needs to develop his nuclear weapon and spy satellite programmes, deemed necessary by North Korea to fend off its mortal enemies Seoul and Washington.
Rumours of the meeting come after Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu didn’t deny reports he had suggested to North Korea to participate in three-way naval exercises with China and Russia, seemingly in response to the annual drills carried out by South Korea and the US.
In July, Mr Shoigu had met Mr Kim during a high-profile visit to North Korea believed to have been made to convince Pyongyang to sell him artillery ammunition.
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