(RepublicanInformer.com)- Russia’s war in Ukraine has benefited North Korea. While the US wants the UN to impose harsher penalties on the North for any missile tests, Kim Jong Un may rely on his good relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin to veto any such action.
Kim and Putin met in Vladivostok, Russia, on April 25, 2019. Thanks to North Korea’s unwavering backing for the Ukrainian invasion, they look to be on better terms than ever.
Now it’s up to Putin to give Kim the help he so desperately needs. Start by supplying heavy weapons and parts to North Korea. North Korea must repair or replace all MiG fighters, bombers, and transport aircraft left to Kim Il Sung by the Soviet Union after the North attacked South Korea in June 1950.
The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 halted Soviet help to North Korea. It meant Russia stopped accepting near-worthless North Korean currency as payment for goods desperately needed to help North Korea’s economy. During the 1990s “arduous march” in North Korea, up to 2 million people died of starvation or sickness.
North Korea’s severe suffering is due to Russia’s refusal to supply it with arms and other commodities, including machinery for industries that had to close.
Kim Il Sung died in 1994, escaping blame for starving his people while hundreds of thousands were tortured, killed, or banished to his country’s inhospitable, frigid, mountainous northern reaches for demonstrating the least disloyalty to his authority. His son, Kim Jong Il, was no less brutal until his death in December 2011 and the ascension of Kim Jong Un to absolute control.
Putin should now restore relations to pre-Soviet levels, with the Kim dynasty continuing in power and the country sinking further into poverty. Given Kim’s support, he may be expected to bring food and other products into North Korea for next to nothing, and he should seize the opportunity to strengthen the 1.2 million-strong Korean People’s Army (KPA).
Their shared belief in threatening to annihilate their adversaries confirms their friendship. While Putin bragged about his “nuclear forces,” Kim stated the same thing on April 25 in Kim Il Sung Square, marking the Korean People’s Army’s 90th anniversary.
The Korean Central News Agency reports that its nuclear forces must be strengthened in quality and scale to execute nuclear combat capabilities in any situation of warfare.
Putin will focus on “developing our state’s nuclear forces as quickly as possible,” implying he might challenge President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol on May 10.
Worst of all, Kim claimed he regards nuclear power as a “deterrent” that may be used “to decisively achieve an unforeseen second mission,” meaning if “fundamental interests” are breached. What he is saying is that any pretext at all will do.
Kim possesses the nukes. North Korea is estimated to have 60 warheads, with more being built at Yongbyon, 60 miles north of Pyongyang. Kim ordered the North’s sixth and most recent nuclear test in September 2017 and is expected soon. Several intercontinental ballistic missiles were on display before his speech.
The Russian president should gladly reward Kim with planes, artillery, and, most dreadfully, missiles capable of hitting North Korea’s immediate neighbors, Japan and South Korea. The need for more and better Russian planes and weapons to boost the North’s aging arsenal is even more critical now that Yoon has stated he would not appease North Korea as his predecessor Moon Jae-in did.
Putin tested a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile. North Korea is not able to attach a warhead to its ICBMs. Putin should resolve that issue. Russian scientists, physicists, and engineers may advise the North Koreans on technology that will deepen the confrontation on the Korean peninsula and bring the world closer to a devastating war.