In a developing saga, a mysterious Russian plane landing in North Korea has Washington on edge, raising suspicions of a clandestine weapons deal between two leaders often branded as ‘rogue’ by the West. This concerning incident follows Kim Jong Un’s recent visit to Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin, fueling speculations of covert agreements to bolster Moscow’s military ventures in Ukraine.
Aviation tracking site FlightRadar24 provided evidence of the unscheduled arrival of a Russian military VIP plane in Pyongyang. The aircraft remained in the North Korean capital for two days, but both nations have maintained silence regarding its purpose, leaving room for speculation that it may have transported a high-level Russian defense delegation.
Notably, the tail number of this plane matches the one Russia sent to North Korea in August, shortly after Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s visit to Pyongyang. During this visit, Kim showcased his nation’s latest weaponry to the Russian delegation, raising further questions about the nature of their discussions.
The West is growing increasingly uneasy about the possibility of these interactions leading to technology and weapons transfers between Russia and North Korea. Both nations are heavily sanctioned by the US, which has sought to isolate them globally.
The unusual presence of Russian aircraft in the region, especially in North Korea, gains significance given the country’s near-total isolation from international air traffic since the pandemic’s onset in early 2020. This recent surge in flights signifies an enhanced level of cooperation between Russia and North Korea at a time when the US and its allies have been striving to isolate them further through international sanctions.
Kim Jong Un’s two-week sojourn in Russia, which concluded recently, involved tours of Russian military technology plants, including an aircraft factory in Komsomolsk-na-Amure. These activities have fueled speculation about a deepening partnership between the two nations.
During the course of the Ukraine conflict, Washington has sporadically accused North Korea of providing additional artillery ammunition to the Russian military. US intelligence even alleged that covert ammo supplies were hidden within train shipments between the two countries, although concrete evidence remains elusive.
It’s worth noting that Russia and North Korea share a small border, adding complexity to their interactions. Recent accusations have emerged suggesting that the Wagner Group, now in disfavor with Moscow following a mutiny and the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, procured substantial quantities of arms and equipment from the Kim Jong-Un government, further deepening the intrigue surrounding these two nations’ dealings.