U.S. Alarmed by Putin’s Comments on Possible Arms Supplies to North Korea


WASHINGTON, June 20 (Reuters) – U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller expressed significant concern on Thursday regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin’s suggestion that Moscow might supply weapons to North Korea following a newly signed defense pact. Putin’s comments were seen as a potential countermeasure to the West’s arming of Ukraine.

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During his visit to North Korea, Putin hinted that Russia could provide weapons to the isolated, nuclear-armed nation, mirroring Western support for Ukraine. He also warned that South Korea, a U.S. ally, would face severe consequences if it supplied arms to Ukraine, stating that such an action would provoke a “painful” response from Moscow.

“This is incredibly concerning,” Miller stated during a news briefing. He highlighted that any arms transfer to North Korea could destabilize the Korean Peninsula and potentially violate U.N. Security Council resolutions that Russia has previously supported.

The pact signed by Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un commits both nations to immediate military assistance in the event of aggression against either country. White House national security spokesperson John Kirby called the pact concerning but unsurprising, noting it underscores Russia’s desperation for foreign assistance amid its ongoing conflict with Ukraine.

NATO’s head expressed similar concerns, particularly about potential Russian support for North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs. U.S. officials believe North Korea is seeking advanced military technologies from Russia, including fighter aircraft, surface-to-air missiles, and ballistic missile production equipment.

Despite denials from Moscow and Pyongyang, the United States and Ukraine have accused North Korea of supplying Russia with artillery shells and ballistic missiles. Western nations have criticized Russia for vetoing the extension of a U.N. mandate that monitors international sanctions on North Korea.

Kirby added that the Russia-North Korea pact is likely troubling for China, which has been urged by the U.S. to curb Pyongyang’s actions. Analysts believe the agreement could diminish Beijing’s influence over its neighbors and potentially destabilize the region, affecting China’s economic and strategic ambitions.

Evan Medeiros, an Asia specialist from the Obama administration, warned that advanced military capabilities from Russia could embolden North Korea and possibly lead to renewed nuclear testing, which last occurred in 2017.

In response to Putin’s visit to North Korea, Senators Lindsey Graham and Richard Blumenthal reiterated their call for the U.S. to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. However, the Biden administration has resisted this move, citing concerns over its effectiveness in holding Russia accountable for its actions in Ukraine. Moscow has warned that such a designation could severely damage diplomatic ties with Washington.

In summary, the potential arms deal between Russia and North Korea marks a significant escalation in global geopolitical tensions, drawing widespread condemnation and highlighting the intricate web of international alliances and conflicts.

By Naija247news
By Naija247newshttps://www.naija247news.com/
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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