Sunday 23 June 2024

Gearing up for WWIII? Putin suggests sending missiles to North Korea

 Russian President Vladimir Putin reasserted his country's right to provide arms to its allies, including possibly sending long-range missiles to North Korea.

Putin, who spoke with reporters in Hanoi following meetings with Vietnam's communist leadership, answered a question regarding his previous suggestion that Moscow could send weapons to the West's adversaries in response to the United States and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization members greenlighting the use of Western-supplied weapons against strikes deep within internationally recognized Russian territory.

"We do not rule out supplying weapons to other countries, including the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," said Putin. "Let the West think where they might end up." ( 

The prospect of Russia providing arms to North Korea – and closer ties between the two nations – would be a lifeline for Pyongyang, which has been shunned by most of the Western world for its development of ballistic and nuclear missiles in defiance of United Nations sanctions.

"I said – including Pyongyang – that we then reserve the right to supply weapons to other regions of the world. Taking into account our prior agreements with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, I do not exclude this either," said Putin.

Putin noted that Russia is considering modifying its doctrines regarding the use of nuclear weapons, as he claims the Western world appears to be working on manufacturing low-yield atomic bombs to lower the nuclear threshold. "We don't need a first strike," he said, referring to Russia's "no first use" policy of only launching nuclear strikes if an adversary attacks first. "Our return strike is guaranteed to destroy any attacker."

Russia, North Korea sign strategic partnership treaty

Putin was at Hanoi meeting with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un to sign a strategic partnership treaty. The treaty commits each side to providing immediate military assistance to the other in the event of armed aggression against either one of them.

The Russian president said Moscow expects its cooperation treaty with North Korea to be a valuable deterrent against perceived Western aggression against Pyongyang. However, he immediately added that there was no need for North Korea to send its soldiers to the frontlines in Russia's ongoing special military operation in Ukraine.

"Regarding the possibility of somehow using each other's capabilities in the conflict in Ukraine, we are not asking anyone for this, no one has offered us this, therefore there is no need," said Putin.

Ukraine and the U.S. both claim that North Korea is already aiding Russia's war effort by providing Moscow's troops with significant quantities of North Korean-manufactured artillery shells and ballistic missiles, accusations which both Kremlin and Pyongyang have denied.

Putin also used the opportunity to warn South Korea against supplying weapons to Ukraine, in light of the new mutual defense pact he and Kim signed.

"In connections to sending lethal weapons to combat zones in Ukraine, this would be a very big mistake. I hope this will not happen," Putin warned. "If it will, then we will take the according decision that the current South Korean leadership will probably not like."

This remark also comes as South Korea sees major growth in international military sales. However, the prospect of South Korean armaments making their way to Kyiv has been a matter of debate in recent weeks due to it contradicting Seoul's longstanding policy of not selling arms to active combat zones.

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