North Korea’s Kim Jong-un with Vladimir Putin in 2019

Amid claims by US officials that North Korea’s Kim Jong-un will meet Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok in far eastern Russia next week, I spoke with Beverley O’Connor of Australia’s ABC News on Tuesday.

I establish the background, including US concerns that Pyongyang will provide military aid for Russia’s failing invasion of Ukraine. I add the context of Ukraine’s counter-offensive, the sanctions on Moscow, and Putin’s failed gamble to rip up the July 2022 Black Sea grain deal.

When you have to have Kim Jong-un pop up to show that you have a friend, well, you’re in a pretty desperate situation. He’s not exactly the most internationally-welcomed leader.

We also discuss the state of the Ukrainian counter-offensive and why Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy replaced Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov.