Putin has turned North Korea into a "Far Eastern Iran".
On 12 September, speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Putin made a number of unequivocal statements. He once again voiced criticism of the West and made it clear in a veiled way that the war with Ukraine would continue. On the same day North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un arrived in Russia on an official visit - his armoured train crossed the border with Russia's Primorsky Krai and headed towards Vladivostok. On 13 September, Putin and Kim Jong-un held an official meeting at the Vostochny cosmodrome. The North Korean dictator has repeatedly expressed interest in obtaining Russian missile technology. If Pyongyang builds its own nuclear missile shield with Russian help, it will turn into a "Far Eastern Iran" and may actually threaten a major war in the Asia-Pacific region.
North Korea has huge stockpiles of weapons that, because of their archaic nature, are unlikely to be used in a war against its neighbours - especially given the presence of US military bases in the ROK and Japan. In this respect, the availability of missiles, artillery and MLRS copied from Soviet designs of the 1960s is unlikely to help Pyongyang gain an advantage in a war against a technologically and economically strong opponent. However, North Korean weapons are of interest to Putin, who hopes to obtain them in exchange for providing Pyongyang with the advanced missile and nuclear technology that Russia possesses, as well as food, oil and currency. Given Shoigu's visit to the DPRK in July this year, it can be argued that Pyongyang will indeed get the Russian military technology it is interested in, and the Kremlin will get access to North Korea's vast arsenals of short-range ballistic missiles and artillery shells. Accordingly, Putin will be launching indiscriminate strikes on Ukrainian cities and Ukraine's energy infrastructure as early as the coming winter. This will inevitably be accompanied by mass casualties among Ukrainian civilians, the destruction of homes, and another wave of refugees from Ukraine to the EU. In addition, the qualitative militarisation of the DPRK with the help of Russian technologies may provoke a war in the Asia-Pacific region: it is no secret that Pyongyang claims the territory of South Korea.
This is a strong argument for increasing arms deliveries to Ukraine. Putin is planning a prolonged escalation; no one should have any illusions about the Kremlin's expansionist intentions. To deny this threat, or not to believe in the reality of its magnitude, is to be attacked by Russia, as happened with Ukraine. The Russian army must suffer overwhelming losses - modern Western weapons have proven their effectiveness and can effectively destroy Russian warehouses, barracks, military equipment, and logistical hubs. Continuing the war against Ukraine should be suicide for the Russian army. The West must do whatever is necessary to give Putin a strategic defeat - this can be achieved through comprehensive support for Ukraine.
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