Russian and Chinese officials stood shoulder to shoulder with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as they reviewed the country’s latest nuclear-capable missiles and new attack drones during a grand military parade in Pyongyang.
The parade held on July 27 commemorated the 70th anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War on July 27, 1953 – which North Korea celebrates as “Victory Day.” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu graced the event, the first by Moscow’s top defense official since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Li Hongzhong, a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo, represented Beijing – the first time a Chinese official visited since the onset of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Both Russia and China openly embraced North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile development program. North Korea showcased its latest Hwasong-17 and Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missiles. These missiles are believed to have the range to reach targets anywhere in the United States.
The parade also featured a flyover by North Korea’s new attack and spy drones. Ankit Panda of the U.S.-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace noted that the surveillance drones could enhance the strategic situational awareness North Korea could offer to external customers.
During the parade, Kim was seen engaging in amiable interactions with Shoigu and Li. The North Korean leader hosted a reception and luncheon for the Russian defense minister, reaffirming solidarity with the Russian people and military. Shoigu, in turn, praised the North Korean military as the world’s strongest and held discussions with Kim on strategic security and defense cooperation.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) published on July 28 a letter sent by Russian President Vladimir Putin to his North Korean counterpart. Putin conveyed his support toward Kim and praised Pyongyang’s firm backing of Moscow during the Russia-Ukraine war. The letter was meant to conceal Putin’s absence from the event, according to Newsweek.
Washington accuses Pyongyang of arming Moscow
North Korea has been a vocal supporter of Russia during the conflict, with the distinction of being one of the few countries to officially recognize the independence of the pro-Russian Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.
The luncheon for Shoigu was held at a hall adorned with portraits of the Russian leader. The display of Putin’s portraits in an official North Korean building underscores the deepening relationship between the two countries and raises questions about the future implications of their growing alliance.
Shoigu’s visit to Pyongyang has further intensified the Russo-North Korean military ties. Ahead of his arrival, the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) stated that the trip would strengthen the relationship between the two nations in the military sphere.
Meanwhile, the U.S. accused North Korea of providing weapons to Russia for its fight against Ukraine back in 2022. The allegations stemmed from remarks made by Vedant Patel, principal deputy spokesman for the U.S. Department of State, during a briefing.
According to Patel, the MoD was purchasing missiles and artillery shells from North Korea for use in Ukraine. He continued that the acquisition indicates Russian military forces grappling with severe supply shortages, partly due to export controls and sanctions.
White House National Security Spokesman John Kirby later walked back Patel’s assertion. He stated that it was a “potential purchase” and that there was no concrete evidence that the transaction had taken place.
Both Pyongyang and Moscow denied the allegations put forward by Patel, with a senior North Korean official warning Washington to “stop making reckless remarks” and “keep its mouth shut.”
Visit WWIII.news for more stories about North Korea and its alliance with Russia and China. Watch this video that discusses Kim Jong Un flaunting North Korea’s newest weapons. This video is from the SavingHealthMinistries channel on Brighteon.com.
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