North Korea may supply Russia with arms
Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, plans to travel to Vladivostok, Russia, this month to meet with Vladimir Putin, Russia’s leader, to discuss military cooperation, including the possibility of supplying Russia with weaponry for its war in Ukraine, foreign officials said.
Putin wants Kim to agree to send Russia artillery shells and antitank missiles, and Kim would like Russia to provide North Korea with advanced technology for satellites and nuclear-powered submarines, as well as food aid, the officials said.
The White House warned last week that Putin and Kim had exchanged letters discussing a possible arms deal. But the new information about a planned meeting between them goes far beyond the previous warning.
Background: Late last month, a delegation of about 20 North Korean officials traveled by train from Pyongyang to Vladivostok and then flew to Moscow, an indication that North Korea was serious about a visit by Kim, for whom it would be a rare foray.
Context: The U.S. first warned about cooperation between North Korea and Russia a year ago and later said that North Korea had shipped munitions to Russia through the Middle East and North Africa. But U.S. officials said that the disclosures had deterred North Korea and that few, if any, North Korean weapons had reached the front lines in Ukraine.
In other news from the war in Ukraine:
Putin restated his opposition to the Black Sea grain deal after bilateral talks with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who brokered the deal.
Russia fired drones at Ukrainian grain and port facilities, in the second large-scale drone assault in the past 48 hours in the southern Odesa region.
The removal of Ukraine’s defense minister and the arrest of Ihor Kolomoisky, one of the country’s richest men, are signs of the authorities’ drive to root out corruption.
Rishi Sunak embraces divisive politics
Trailing in the polls and facing stubborn inflation, a stagnant economy, depleted public coffers and long waiting times at hospitals, the British Conservative Party is turning to populist issues like climate, refugees and crime ahead of next year’s election.
But exploiting so-called wedge issues, including by mounting a retreat on an ambitious commitment to phase out fossil fuels, carries risks. Far-reaching climate policies enjoy broad support in Britain, and the party risked turning off swing voters and environmentally conscious supporters in the south, experts said.
Analysis: “It’s part of their strategy to provoke outrage,” Tom Burke, a former government adviser, said. “You provoke outrage to reassure your base. It’s exactly the strategy Trump is pursuing in the U.S.”
Related: The British government faces a mounting crisis over crumbling schools after a former government official said that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had refused to rebuild more schools when he was head of the Treasury, despite warnings about the deadly risks of lightweight concrete.
Xi Jinping will skip G20 summit
China indicated yesterday that its top leader, Xi Jinping, would skip the G20 summit in New Delhi this weekend, dealing a blow to India, the event’s host nation, and raising questions about Xi’s profile as a global statesman.
A spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry said that China would send the premier, Li Qiang, to the event, but she declined to explain why. Xi has never missed a G20 summit, which brings together 19 countries and the E.U., since taking power in 2012.
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