The Irish Times view on North Korea and Russia: a dangerous liaison

Published date06 September 2023
Publication titleIrish Times: Web Edition Articles (Dublin, Ireland)
In return, on what will be his first foreign trip since 2019, the North Korean leader wants Russian help to build its next generation of defence assets – advanced technology for satellites and nuclear-powered submarines. North Korea made two failed attempts this year to launch a spy satellite into space. And he will want food and hard currency for his starving people

This time Kim holds the whip hand in negotiations and will extract a high price. Russia's costly 18-month war in Ukraine is depleting its ammunition stocks and its capacity to replenish them. It is also desperate to build international support for its Ukraine campaign, no matter how obnoxious the source, and no matter what UN embargo resolutions it flouts in the process.

The link-up – renewing a long history of defence co-operation between the two pariah states – reflects not strength but material and strategic weakness and international isolation on both sides. And the US has warned that Pyonyang would pay dearly...

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