Seoul, Sep 4 (EFE).- Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu proposed joint naval drills between Russia, North Korea and China during a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in July, the head of the South Korean intelligence agency claimed on Monday.
The director of Seoul’s National Intelligence Service (NIS), Kim Kyou-hyun, made the claim during a closed-door parliamentary briefing on Monday, according to ruling party lawmaker Yoo Sang-bum, who revealed the exchange during a subsequent press conference.
Shoigu had visited North Korea between Jul. 25-27 to attend the celebrations to mark 70 years of the end of Korean War (1950-1953).
During the visit, Moscow’s defense chief held two one-on-one meetings with Kim, apart from visiting an arms exhibition in Pyongyang and attending a grand military parade in the North Korean capital to mark the 70th anniversary of the war.
After the denuclearization dialog between Pyongyang and Washington failed in 2019, the North Korean regime has intensified efforts to boost ties with Moscow at a time when the world is increasingly polarized due to the Ukraine War, even as Washington seeks a common front in the region with Seoul and Tokyo.
Referring to Pyongyang launching two cruise missiles last week – which the regime dubbed as a rehearsal for a “tactical nuclear attack” as the projectiles detonated over a simulated target – the head of South Korean intelligence said on Monday that only one of the missiles had functioned successfully.
He also told lawmakers that the regime had apparently ordered “anti-state” actors within South Korea to join protests against Japan releasing radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea. EFE