A file photo released by Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visiting the naval command of the Korean People's Army on Navy day in Pyongyang, North Korea. 27 August 2023..EFE-EPA FILE/KCNA HANDOUT/HANDOUT/EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

Japan concerned over possible Kim-Putin meeting, arms deal

Tokyo, Sep 6 (EFE).- The Japanese government said on Wednesday that it was monitoring North Korea’s movements “with concern” over the possibility of an imminent meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

USational Security Advisory Jake Sullivan talks to reporters in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 05 September 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

The Japanese reaction comes after reports in the United States’ media that said that Kim could travel to Russia this month to meet Putin and discuss an exchange of weapons along with aerospace and military technology, among other issues.

Japanese government spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno said in a press conference that Tokyo was monitoring the situation with concern over the possible violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions that ban Pyongyang from exporting arms and related material.

He added that Japan was “analyzing” North Korean movements, including military ones, and would continue to closely cooperate with the international community to ensure that Pyongyang complied with UN resolutions.

Late on Tuesday, the US had warned North Korea that the regime would “pay a price in the international community” in case it decided to supply weapons to Russia destined for the Ukraine war.

“We will continue to call on North Korea to abide by its public commitments not to supply weapons to Russia that will end up killing Ukrainians,” US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters

Washington had already claimed last week that Russia and North Korea were actively discussing the sale of advanced weapons, which could allow Moscow to receive various types of munitions.

Kremlin on Tuesday refused to comment on the possible meeting between the two leaders.

Hours later, Sullivan said that Washington had information about Kim expecting the arms deal negotiations to continue “including leader-level discussions, perhaps even in-person leader-level discussions.”

However, he did not offer further details.

On Monday, US dailies New York Times and The Washington Post had published reports that the North Korean leader plans to visit Russia this month to hold a meeting with Putin and finalize the sale of weapons. EFE