Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is set to visit Pyongyang for meetings aimed at preparing for a visit by President Vladimir Putin, who has increased cooperation with politically isolated North Korea.
This visit follows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s rare visit to Russia, where he invited Putin to discuss military cooperation, including North Korea’s satellite program and the Ukraine war. Lavrov may also discuss the standing invitation to visit Pyongyang. US Special Representative for North Korea Sung Kim has expressed concern over the relationship between North Korea and Russia.
North Korea is reportedly supplying weapons to Russia for use in the Ukraine conflict, according to U.S. government and Western researchers, but Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied these claims.
The Royal United Services Institute released satellite images showing two Russian ships with military logistics connections making multiple trips to North Korea, moving several hundred containers since August. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov defended the allegations.
A report suggests containers of similar size and color were delivered to a Russian munitions storage facility near Ukraine’s border.
North Korea is heavily sanctioned for its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, and UN Security Council resolutions, approved with Russia’s support, prohibit cooperation with the country on military issues and other areas.