Putin and Kim want to be friends because of the interests

Last Updated on June 19, 2024 9:42 am

There was intense speculation that Russian President Vladimir Putin might visit North Korea this week. Putin will visit North Korea on Tuesday (June 18), the Kremlin has finally confirmed.

South Korean President Eon Suk-yeol’s state visit to Kazakhstan last Wednesday, an official met with reporters at the presidential office. There, he mentioned President Putin’s visit to North Korea.

If Putin visits North Korea, it will be his first visit in 24 years. He last visited North Korea in 2000. Kim Jong Un’s father, Kim Jong Il, was then in power. Putin accepted Kim’s invitation to visit North Korea in September last year.

The two leaders then met at the Vastochny Cosmodrome on Russia’s eastern border.

The meeting between the leaders of Russia and North Korea last year was seen as a process to establish the foundation of the relationship between the two countries. Analysts say that this visit is an occasion to show that the ties between the two countries have become stronger.

It is believed that the main interest in this visit will be on how to increase military cooperation between the armies of the two countries.

At the same time, attention will be paid to increase mutual exchange in other fields such as economy, culture, agriculture, tourism and social issues.

Of particular interest will be when President Putin exchanges advanced weapons with North Korea. All in all, many people think that this bilateral meeting between North Korea and Russia will bring not only talks, but real results.

We will point out three reasons in this case, which actually explain the rapprochement between Putin and Kim.

Military cooperation: Russia wants weapons, North Korea needs technical help

Almost two and a half years after the start of Russian military operations in Ukraine, the interdependence between North Korea and Russia continues to grow.

Because both countries are providing various assistance to each other.

Nam Sang Wook, a professor of unification and diplomacy at Korea University, said that the agenda of the meeting at the moment will be how much more North Korean-made weapons will be supplied to Russia in the future.

According to many others, the meeting will not be limited to some military agreements. Rather, how North Korea can continue to supply all conventional weapons and strengthen military relations between the two countries through a joint weapons development project is also under discussion.

It is also believed that North Korea will not be satisfied with only fuel and food in exchange for weapons supplied to Russia. North Korea will aim to see how they can cooperate on space technology. This means North Korea wants Russia’s help to launch more satellites. In addition, North Korea may seek help from Russia in testing nuclear submarines and satellites.

However, at the same time, Professor Nam thinks that the matter of exchanging nuclear weapons between the two countries will never be disclosed. Recently, President Putin reacted sharply to the entry of Western weapons into Ukraine and their threat to Russia. He even talked about the possibility of using nuclear weapons if necessary.

However, the issue of nuclear weapons exchange or cooperation between Russia and North Korea may raise strong resistance from countries like the US and China in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia.

And for that reason, it can be assumed that any discussion on the nuclear issue in this meeting may not be disclosed in that way.

Economic cooperation: Russia wants workers, North Korea wants foreign money

Russia and North Korea will definitely discuss how to increase economic cooperation.

Kang Dong-won, professor of political science and diplomacy at Dong-A University, said that what North Korea needs most from Russia at the moment is for Korean workers to go to Russia to earn foreign currency. This means that the number of workers sent to Russia may increase. Russia also needs manpower to rebuild war-damaged buildings.

In addition, Russia needs a lot of workers to get the economy back on track and to overcome the damage caused by the war.

Russian media Vedomasti, citing a diplomatic source, said the two leaders could discuss whether to bring in more workers from North Korea. Because the army is on the battlefield, there is a massive manpower shortage in Russia.

But the sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council on North Korea state that no North Korean worker can work outside the country.

As a result, as a permanent member of the Security Council, it will be difficult for Russia to formally request workers from North Korea. Because it will create resentment in the international community.

Therefore, the main focus will be on how the two countries can continue economic cooperation with each other in the face of diplomatic pressure from the international community and various pressures from the opposition.

Cultural exchange: Will the tourist channels of the two countries be open?

Russia started sending tourists to North Korea. Which was later canceled due to covid-19. But since the beginning of this month, passenger train service between Russia and North Korea has started for the first time in four years.

According to the calculations of the government of the Primorsky Krai region of Russia, more than four hundred Russian tourists traveled to North Korea between February and May this year. Russian travel agency Vostok Intru is selling a five-day, four-night tour package to North Korea for US$750 on its website. Apart from this, there are also group travel offers in North Korea. It can be booked till September.

This page offers a variety of offers to tourists, including tours through the Bakdu Mountains, North Korean history tours, and tour packages for the anniversary of North Korea’s victory in the War of Independence.

Explaining the reason for the country’s recent emphasis on tourism, Professor Kim Dong Yap of the University of North Korean Studies said that tourism is not only a matter of foreign currency income, but it also improves relations with people through direct contact between people.

He also said that Russians visiting North Korea play an important role in presenting friendly relations between the two countries.

Prof. Kim said the introduction of North Korea to the international community, the visit of foreign tourists will help dispel those perceptions.

From this point of view, tourism in North Korea is seen as an important means of social and cultural exchange. Which is a tool for developing their international image beyond the economy. However, there have been some group tour cancellations in North Korea recently.

A travel agency said its four-day group tour, which was scheduled to start on May 31, was canceled due to insufficient applications. Apart from this, lack of sufficient facilities for tourists in North Korea and limited movement of foreigners is another big challenge of this sector.

According to Professor Kang Dong Won, the meeting between Russia and North Korea has created an opportunity to discuss tourism between the two countries.

Source: BBC

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