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Russian foreign minister to visit North Korea this week

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 16, 2023 3:08 PM 2 min read
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov enters the hall during a meeting with African leaders at the Konstantin Palace in Strelna on June 17, 2023 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Contributor/Getty Images)
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will pay an official visit to North Korea amid Western concerns about extended military cooperation between Moscow and Pyongyang.

Lavrov will arrive in North Korea on Oct. 18 and stay there for two days, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The announcement comes a month after North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin met in Russia's Amur Oblast, reportedly to discuss Moscow's support for Pyongyang's space and missile technology programs.

The U.S. accused North Korea of supplying Russia with arms for its war against Ukraine, including over 1,000 containers of military equipment and ammunition delivered between Sept. 7 and Oct. 1.

Russia, China and North Korea have new dynamics. And it’s bad for Ukraine
The White House announced on Oct. 13 that North Korea had delivered more than 1,000 containers of military equipment and ammunition to bolster Russia’s war against Ukraine. Washington published pictures tracking a set of containers as it traveled from Najin, North Korea, to Dunay, Russia, by a Russ…

Washington believes that in return for ammunition shipments, Pyongyang seeks advanced Russian technologies for the North Korean military and nuclear program. Both North Korea and Russia have denied any weaponry supplies to each other.

Media reports emerged in early October that North Korea had begun its weapons deliveries to Russia, with satellite images confirming increased rail traffic at the North Korean-Russian border.

Earlier in August, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited North Korea's capital to convince the country's leadership to provide artillery ammunition that Russian forces could use in its war against Ukraine.

In the spring of 2023, Moscow reportedly approached Pyongyang with the offer of food supplies in exchange for weapons. North Korea has been heavily militarized since the end of the war with its Southern Korean neighbors in 1953 but suffers from chronic food shortages.

Putin, Kim meet at Russian cosmodrome ahead of expected arms talks
Russian President Vladimir Putin met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s far-eastern Amur Oblast for official talks, the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported on Sept. 13.
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