Putin Set to Visit North Korea in Coming Weeks, Reports Say 

Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, has plans to visit Vietnam and North Korea over the next few weeks, according to Reuters.

The media outlet reported that Putin’s visit to Vietnam was originally planned to begin on June 19, but nothing has been confirmed just yet.

Alexander Matsegora, the Russian Ambassador to North Korea, told the outlet that the president’s Pyongyang visit is being “actively prepared.”

It’s most likely that Putin will go to Vietnam first and then North Korea after that. 

A Vietnamese official told Reuters the Hanoi visit dates have been agreed to, but they are still discussing what will be on the agenda for the visit. That official said that the main issues at hand are coming to an agreement in the field of education, a settlement of outstanding payments due, military cooperation and energy.

Last September, North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong Un went to Russia to speak with Putin. Russia took him on a tour of their Vostochny Cosmodrome space launch center in the Far East of Russia, which is where Putin promised that they would help North Korea build their own satellites.

According to The Kremlin, Russia wants to build partnership with North Korea “in all areas,” though they haven’t yet confirmed dates of when the visit between the two world leaders will take place.

In recent years, Russia has stepped up its efforts to form closer relationships with countries such as North Korea that are hostile to the United States and western nations. This has gained a lot of steam ever since Russia invaded Ukraine in February of 2022.

In addition to North Korea, Russia has beefed up its relations with Iran, China and some African nations as well. These have all become major sources of concern to western countries.

In January of this year, Ukraine and the U.S. accused Russia of firing short-range ballistic missiles at Ukraine that were supplied by North Korea. To this point, Russia hasn’t confirmed nor denied whether this is true.

Vedomosti, a newspaper in Russia, said that the topics of discussion for Russia and North Korea could include whether Russia will import migrant workers from North Korea. The country is facing a massive shortage in its labor market right now — with so many people fleeing the country, being forced to join the military, or wounded or dead as a result of the war with Ukraine.

As Russia’s war with Ukraine continues on well past when it thought it would, the country has had to turn to unorthodox means to recruit new military personnel. First came taking prisoners, but that has dwindled down the population to historic low levels.

Then came African migrant workers and students who are in Russia on visas, but that has caused additional strains in the labor market.

The only other trip that Putin has ever taken to North Korea came in 2000, which was the first year that he served as president of Russia.