Kim is en route to Russia for discussions with Putin. Kim Jong Un, leader of North Korea, will visit Russia “in the coming days,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday, confirming rumors. The US government warned for the first time a week ago that Kim may travel to Russia to meet with Vladimir Putin to discuss a potential deal to supply Russia with weapons for its conflict in Ukraine.
While Peskov did not specify when the meeting would take place, multiple South Korean media outlets reported earlier Monday that Kim appeared to be on a train bound to Russia.
Here are the most recent events:
Kim “will pay an official visit to Russia in the coming days” at Putin’s invitation, according to a Kremlin statement released on Monday. The confirmation came days after the US National Security Council claimed that arms negotiations between Russia and North Korea are “actively advancing,” after Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited Pyongyang in July to persuade the regime to sell artillery ammunition to Moscow.
The Kremlin did not specify when or where the two leaders would meet, but the New York Times reported last week that the unconfirmed meeting between Kim and Putin could take place on the campus of a university in Russia’s far eastern city of Vladivostok. Putin arrived in Vladivostok on Monday for the annual Eastern Economic Forum conference.
The European Union condemned the “illegitimate” local elections conducted over the weekend in Russian-annexed regions of Ukraine and stated that it will not recognize the results. The elections, which were disregarded by the international community as a sham, represented another attempt by Moscow to create a deceptive image of Russian legitimacy in the occupied regions of Ukraine. Unsurprisingly, Putin’s United Russia party dominated the results, as reported by TASS on Sunday.
Putin, if he chooses to run for re-election in 2024, has “absolute support from the population,” according to Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, who stated on Monday that “no one will be able to compete” with him. Putin is anticipated to win a fifth term in Russia’s upcoming presidential election, which will be conducted next year.
The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, stated on Monday that Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative places “the right to food beyond the reach of many people.” According to Turk, global starvation levels have returned to 2005 levels, with nearly 600 million people expected to be “chronically undernourished” in 2030. He stated that Russia’s July withdrawal from the grain agreement and subsequent bombardment of Ukraine’s ports contributed to global food insecurity.
Ukrainian officials reported gradual gains in the country’s east, including an unexpected victory near the airport of the Russian-controlled city of Donetsk. Hanna Maliar, the deputy defense minister of Ukraine, stated on Monday that Ukrainian forces had captured a portion of the village of Opytne near the airport and “pushed the enemy out of their strongholds” south of Bakhmut. Unofficial pro-Russian sources, however, contested some of Ukraine’s claims.
Russia’s G20 triumph: Russia deemed the G20 Summit in India a “complete success” after its invasion of Ukraine was not explicitly condemned in the final declaration. In the final group statement, it was stated that “all states must refrain from the threat or use of force to seek territorial acquisition”; however, Russia was not singled out.