Desperate Putin facing real problems as he begs North Korea for weapons

North Korea visited by Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu

Vladimir Putin’s Russia “is having real problems” with its military – and has turned to Kim Jong-un for weapons with which to wage war on Ukraine, a Kyiv-based security expert has said.

However, Oleksandr Musiienko, head of the Centre for Military Legal Studies, believes it is far from guaranteed that North Korea’s Supreme Leader will do so with the blessing of Beijing.

Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s Defence Minister, shared centre stage, alongside Chinese Communist Party officials yesterday at a huge military parade in the Hermit State’s capital last month.

Kim invited Shoigu and a Chinese ruling party officials to share centre stage at a giant military parade in Pyongyang during which he showcased his most powerful missiles intended to target South Korea and the United States.

Shoigu’s presence at the July 27 parade came after Kim took him on a tour of a domestic arms exhibition, underlining North Korea’s support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and fuelling speculation that the North is planning to provide Russia with arms.

READ MORE: Ex-UN chief ‘worried’ as he shares fears over North Korea’s nuke plans[INSIGHT]

Speaking to Espreso TV, Mr Musiienko said: “We must be prepared for North Korea to supply weapons to Russia.

“This is quite likely, because there is an intensification of relations between these countries and the visit of Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu was not in vain. Of course, there may be some agreements.”

Nevertheless, the key question was terms of what equipment North Korea agreed to provide, in what quantities, and over what timeframe, Mr Musiienko stressed.

He continued: “North Korea does indeed produce artillery, both cannon and rocket.

“I do not rule out that the DPRK can supply such weapons to Russia, but time will tell whether or not it will be with the help of China.

“We are well aware of North Korea’s dependence on Beijing’s position, because Pyongyang is supported only by Beijing and Moscow.”

Mr Musiienko also said it was possible that Ukraine could receive 155mm shells made in South Korea, which also has large production facilities, through what he called “re-export mechanisms”.

He continued: “We see that today there are two countries that are ready to support Russia militarily – Iran and the DPRK.

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“As for North Korea, there has been different, contradictory information about arms supplies to Russia, but we cannot rule out such assistance, which could have been before and will continue to be now.

“All of this shows that Russia is really having problems with its military and industrial complex, which is why it is turning to the DPRK and Iran.

“It is obvious that North Korea has certain resources that were established not without the help of China or even earlier the Soviet Union.”

Kim Jong Un ordered his military to sharpen its war plans and signed off on expanding combat operations of frontline units, state media reported today, as the United States and South Korea prepare for a large-scale combined military exercise.

Characterising the allies’ expanding drills as invasion rehearsals, Kim has responded by accelerating his weapons demonstrations, including ed the testing-firings of more than 100 missiles since the start of 2022, driving tensions on the Korean Peninsula to their highest point in years.

Speaking to yesterday, Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said he was concerned about the prospect of Kim ordering more nuclear weapon tests.

He said: “Even though they have not joined the NPT [The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons], there is a clear international legal system that there should be no nuclear tests.

“I’m worried that reports suggest that North Korea soon may test another nuclear weapon.”

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