Kim Jong Un Showcases Banned Missiles, A Display of Power and Alliance


Kim Jong Un Showcases Banned Missiles, A Display of Power and Alliance

SEOUL, July 27 - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un welcomed Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and a Chinese delegation led by a Communist Party politburo member to a defence exhibition featuring the North's banned ballistic missiles. The event took place during the 70th anniversary celebration of the end of the Korean War, referred to as "Victory Day" in North Korea.


The exhibition, which showcased nuclear-capable missiles banned under U.N. Security Council resolutions with Russian and Chinese support, served as a backdrop for the three countries to exhibit their solidarity and revive what some analysts view as a Cold War-era coalition united by their rivalry with the U.S.


Shoigu's visit marks the first time a Russian defence minister has visited North Korea since the fall of the Soviet Union. For North Korea, the arrival of the Russian and Chinese delegations marked a significant opening to the world after the COVID-19 pandemic.


During the visit, Shoigu presented a letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Kim, further deepening the strategic and traditional relations between North Korea and Russia. Kim expressed gratitude for the military delegation led by Shoigu, emphasizing mutual concerns in safeguarding sovereignty, development, and interests against imperialist practices and promoting international justice and peace.


The defence minister of North Korea, Kang Sun Nam, voiced full support for Russia's "battle for justice" and to protect its sovereignty. Kim then accompanied Shoigu on a tour of an exhibition showcasing new weapons and military equipment.


Photographs released by state media depicted Kim and the guests observing the North's ballistic missiles in multi-axle transporter launchers. Notably, an image displayed what analysts believe to be a new drone.


Ankit Panda, an analyst from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, suggested that Shoigu's inspection of North Korean missiles signals Russian acceptance of the country's nuclear programme. The tour, alongside Shoigu's willingness to be photographed with Kim, indicates Moscow's complacency with North Korea's ongoing nuclear modernization.


Furthermore, Kim met with Chinese Communist Party Politburo member Li Hongzhong, who delivered a letter from Chinese President Xi Jinping. Kim remarked that Li's delegation exemplified Xi's commitment to the DPRK-China friendship.


The visit by both Russian and Chinese delegations demonstrates the strengthening alliance and their shared stance against U.S. aggression. The spectacle of North Korea showcasing its banned missiles alongside high-ranking officials from Russia and China sends a clear message of power and unity in a region marked by geopolitical complexities. As Kim Jong Un asserts his nation's strength, the world watches closely, gauging the implications of this display of military might and diplomatic camaraderie.

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