North Korea is continuing arms negotiations with Russia and intends to strike a deal soon, U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters on Sept. 27.
“We have spoken on this a number of times and warned that an arms discussion between Russia and the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) almost certainly continued during Kim Jong Un’s trip to Russia and we believe that they continue in the aftermath of that trip and converging the military relationship between Russia and the DPRK,” he said.
Western allies such as Japan and South Korea fear Russia will transfer advanced ballistic missile technology to North Korea. The G7 has threatened aggressive sanctions on both pariah states in response to the negotiations.
Earlier on Sept. 13, Russian President Vladimir Putin met North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia's far-eastern Amur Oblast for official talks largely understood to be about weapons transfers.
White House national security advisor revealed specific sanctions targeting Russia and North Korea in response to the talks. “We have also imposed specific targeted sanctions to try to disrupt any effort to use North Korea as a conduit or as a source for weapons going to Russia,” a U.S. official told CNN.
North Korea has long sought to improve its satellite launching and nuclear submarine technology which would greatly advance Pyongyang’s capabilities in the region.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov plans to visit Pyongyang next month, Ukrinform reported, citing a local South Korean news agency.