Japan to keep tabs on Kim Jong Un's alleged upcoming visit to Russia
On Monday, the New York Times claimed that Kim Jong Un is planning to travel to Russia this month to meet and discuss with Putin the supply of arms and weapons to assist Russia in Ukraine.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Wednesday that the Japanese government will closely monitor the situation and coordinate with the international community and the US in light of recent reports claiming that DPRK leader Kim Jong Un is planning a potential visit to the Kremlin in the near future.
"We are aware of such reports. [The United Nations] Security Council resolutions completely prohibit the transfer of arms or materials for their production from North Korea. We plan to monitor this issue closely with a high degree of concern, including the possibility that violations [of the resolutions] may take place," Matsuno told a news conference when asked to comment on the reports.
He added that Tokyo will keep in close touch with the international community, mainly with the US, on this matter.
On Monday, the New York Times alleged that Kim Jong Un is planning to travel to Russia this month to meet and discuss with President Vladimir Putin the supply of arms and weapons to assist Russia with its special military operation in Ukraine.
According to the report, Kim Jong Un's upcoming trip to Russia comes as Moscow and Pyongyang are discussing joint naval exercises and the White House has expressed concern about the deepening military ties between the two countries.
National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a written statement that talks between Russia and DPRK on arms supplies are progressing rapidly, adding that she has intel indicating that Kim "expects these discussions to continue, to include leader-level diplomatic engagement in Russia."
She further alleged that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu recently visited the DPRK in an attempt to persuade Pyongyang to sell artillery ammunition to Russia.
"We urge [Pyongyang] to cease its arms negotiations with Russia and abide by the public commitments that Pyongyang has made to not provide or sell arms to Russia," Watson added.
On Tuesday, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson, declined to confirm reports of a possible meeting between Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin in Russia in the near future. He said he had "no comment" on the matter.