The potential impact of Kim Jong Un’s meeting with Vladimir Putin on ties between North Korea and Russia


Reuters. 12 September, Seoul. Analysts say the upcoming summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has the potential to change the North’s reclusive and distrustful approach to its partners in Moscow and Beijing.

After Kim’s flashier meetings with then-U.S. President Donald Trump and multiple visits to meet with North Korea’s only treaty ally and main economic partner, China, Kim’s summit with Putin almost seemed like an afterthought during his first visit to Russia in 2019.

Analysts speculate that Kim may be attempting to balance the two major powers on his borders against each other by choosing Russia — rather than China — as his first foreign visit since before the COVID-19 pandemic.


The war in Ukraine, tensions with South Korea and Japan, and the China-U.S. rivalry may all be affected by Putin and Kim’s moves to repair ties, though it remains to be seen whether they agree on anything substantive such as an arms deal or economic aid.




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