Russia Must Pay the Price If It Sells Arms Technology to N.Korea

      September 14, 2023 13:23

      The leaders of Russia and North Korea held a summit at the Vostochny Cosmodrome spaceport in Amur Oblast on Wednesday. All eyes were on what price Russia would pay for artillery shells from North Korea. The North apparently wants Russia to transfer technology related to nuclear-powered submarines and satellites, which are part of its five strategic objectives. When asked before the summit whether Russia would transfer satellite technology to North Korea, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, "That's why we came here." 
      North Korea failed twice this year in attempts to put a spy satellite into orbit and has plans a third attempt next month. Another failure could have a detrimental impact on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's image. Even the Soviet Union never transferred cutting-edge weapons technology to an ally, and no country can deal in any arms with North Korea due to UN Security Council sanctions imposed over Pyongyang's nuclear provocations, which include a ban on satellite launches. Russia supported those sanctions. It is unheard-of for the leader and entire war cabinet of a country to travel to a remote province thousands of kilometers from the capital to meet Kim. That befits only an international pariah.
      If Russia gets North Korean munitions and transfers not only satellite but also intercontinental ballistic missile technology, the Korean Peninsula and the entire world face a serious problem. The same goes for nuclear-powered submarine technology. Some experts say Putin could even provide Kim with state-of-the-art jet fighters amid rumors that Kim will visit a Sukhoi jet factory in the Russian far east. 
      If Russia does transfer cutting-edge military technology to North Korea, it will be a direct threat to South Korea. It would violate not just UNSC sanctions but cross the red line in relations with South Korea. Seoul would then have to take steps to protect itself. It has many options, and some of those are incomparably more powerful than any outdated North Korean munitions. Putin must make the right choice.

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