Vladimir Putin drives the Russian limousine that he gave to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Pyongyang, June 19, 2024

I joined Dublin NewsTalk’s Shane Coleman on Thursday to analyze Vladimir Putin’s trip to North Korea, cutting through the spectacle and spin to assess the political and military situation.

I explain how North Korea has propped up the Russian invasion of Ukraine, not because of Moscow’s strength but because of its international isolation and its failure to vanquish Kyiv.

Putin’s visit will reinforce Pyongyang’s supply of artillery shells and ballistic missiles to Russia, but given North Korea’s own isolation and its status as one of the poorest countries in the world, I describe the limits of the relationship.

As the Russian delegation — the Foreign Minister, the Defense Minister, the 1st Deputy Prime Minister were laying out their papers in the ceremonial hall, a North Korean staff member told them to get out.

Because Kim Jong-un had to be the first one entering the room, and no Russian could be ahead of him.

It illustrated that with this so-called alliance, the political, economic, and military details remain to be seen….

When you have to parade yourself standing next to North Korea as your vaunted ally, that’s not a sign of strength. It’s an Axis of Weakness.