Russian and North Korean officials have attended a ceremony in Vladivostok that showcased their deepening defense cooperation. This comes after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s visit to Russia, where he met with President Vladimir Putin and toured military and technology sites. The United States and South Korea have expressed concerns that North Korea could supply munitions to aid Russia’s war on Ukraine, in exchange for advanced Russian weapons technology that would further Kim’s nuclear ambitions. Such cooperation would violate international sanctions and resolutions imposed by the United Nations Security Council. Experts suggest that North Korea would seek economic aid, food supplies, and technology transfers in exchange for supplying conventional arms to Russia. During his visit, Kim also toured a university and watched a walrus show at a Russian aquarium. Russian state media released videos of Kim interacting with Russian officials and enjoying the performances. The governor of Russia’s Primorye region announced that a delegation from Russia’s Far East would visit North Korea, but did not specify the timing. Kim also visited an airport and a naval frigate during his trip. The summit with Putin was held at a space launch site, indicating Kim’s interest in acquiring space-based reconnaissance assets and missile technologies. Kim invited Putin to visit North Korea, and Putin accepted. This is their second meeting, following their first summit in Vladivostok in 2019.

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