July 19, 2024

The South Korean Foreign Ministry has summoned Russian Ambassador Andrey Kulik to express concerns over Moscow’s potential arms deals and military cooperation with North Korea, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported on Sept. 19.

Deputy Foreign Minister Chang Ho-jin urged Russia to “immediately” halt the development of military ties with North Korea, and to adhere to UN Security Council resolutions.

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The official also emphasized that actions threatening the security of South Korea could harm bilateral relations with Russia.

On Sept. 18, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol stated he plans to address the issue of military cooperation between Russia and North Korea at the UN General Assembly.

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Kim Jong Un travelled to Russia in September 2023, where he met with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, visited the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Far East, and referred to the war against Ukraine as a “holy battle,” wishing the Kremlin leader “victory.”

On the eve of the visit, media outlets, citing anonymous sources, reported that arms transfers from North Korea to the Russian Federation might be discussed. The US warned that if such a weapons transfer occurs, new sanctions will be imposed on Russia and North Korea.

Read also: Japan watches out for possible arms shipments from North Korea to Russia

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Russia on Sept. 12 to meet with dictator Vladimir Putin — likely in the Russian city of Vladivostok on Sept. 13.

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It is expected that one of the topics the two dictators will discuss will be the transfer of weapons from North Korea to Russia. The United States has already warned that if such a transfer takes place, Moscow and Pyongyang will face new sanctions.

In July, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited Pyongyang and attended an arms exhibition, which featured, among other things, combat and reconnaissance drones and new locally-produced intercontinental ballistic missiles.

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