Kim Jong Un Expected to Meet With Putin for Weapons Talks

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russia this month to discuss the possibility of North Korea providing weapons to Russia for its war in Ukraine.

Senior administration officials told The Washington Post that Kim plans to make a rare trip out of North Korea to meet with Putin later this month.

The New York Times, citing American and allied officials, reported that Kim would travel from North Korea’s capital of Pyongyang to the Russian port city of Vladivostok — probably by armored train. The duo previously met in the same city, which is not far from North Korea’s border with Russia, in 2019.

The White House revealed last week that the United States had intelligence showing that Kim and Putin have exchanged letters. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby also told reporters that information showed negotiations were “actively advancing” as Russia seeks munitions from North Korea in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

“We have information that Kim Jong-Un expects these discussions to continue, to include leader-level diplomatic engagement in Russia,” said National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson, according to a CNN report on Monday.

“We urge [North Korea] to cease its arms negotiations with Russia and abide by the public commitments that Pyongyang has made to not provide or sell arms to Russia,” Watson also said.

The reports of the meeting have been met with concern by the United States and its allies, who fear that it could further destabilize the situation in Ukraine.

The United States has accused North Korea of violating UN Security Council resolutions by providing weapons to Russia. North Korea has denied the allegations.

Some conservatives have argued that the meeting is a sign that North Korea is becoming more emboldened and that it is a threat to the United States and its allies. They have called on the Biden administration to take steps to deter North Korea from further destabilizing the region.