Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday (20) that Russia could supply weapons to North Korea, in what he suggested would be a mirror response to Western arming of Ukraine.

Putin was speaking to journalists in Vietnam, a day after visiting North Korea, which has nuclear weapons, and signing a mutual defense agreement with its leader, Kim Jong Un.

Western countries have shunned North Korea as a pariah state due to its development of nuclear and ballistic missiles in defiance of UN sanctions, and view growing ties between Moscow and Pyongyang with concern.

Putin threatened earlier this month that Russia could supply weapons to Western adversaries because the West was supplying high-precision weapons to Ukraine and giving it permission to fire them at targets inside Russia.

In his latest comments, he said that North Korea could be one such recipient of Russian weapons.

“I said, including in Pyongyang, that we then reserve the right to supply weapons to other regions of the world. Given our agreements with (North Korea), I don’t exclude that either,” he said.

The treaty signed by Putin and Kim on Wednesday commits each side to providing immediate military assistance to the other in the event of armed aggression against either side.

Putin said Moscow hopes its cooperation with North Korea will serve as a deterrent to the West, but there is no need to use North Korean soldiers for the war in Ukraine.

“As for the possibility of us somehow using each other’s capabilities in the conflict in Ukraine, we are not asking anyone for that, no one has offered us that, so there is no need,” he said.

The United States and Ukraine claim that North Korea has already supplied Russia with significant quantities of artillery shells and ballistic missiles, which Moscow and Pyongyang deny.


Putin said South Korea would make “a big mistake” if it decided to supply weapons to Ukraine, and that Moscow would respond to such a move in a way that would be painful for Seoul.

He spoke after South Korean news agency Yonhap said Seoul would review the possibility of supplying weapons to Ukraine in light of the mutual defense pact signed by Putin and Kim a day earlier.

Putin also expanded on comments he made earlier this month about nuclear weapons, saying Moscow was considering possible changes to its doctrine on their use.

Putin said this was motivated by changing views on nuclear use among Russia’s adversaries.

Russia’s existing doctrine states that it may use nuclear weapons in response to a nuclear attack or in the event of a conventional attack that poses an existential threat to the state.

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, some hawks among Russian military analysts have argued that Moscow should consider reviewing this position and even carrying out some kind of nuclear attack that could “sober up” its adversaries in the West.

Putin told journalists that Russia was thinking about changing its doctrine because its potential enemies were working on “new elements” related to lowering the limit on nuclear use.

“In particular, extremely low-power nuclear explosive devices are being developed. And we know that there are ideas circulating in expert circles in the West that such means of destruction could be used,” he said.

Putin said there was “nothing particularly terrible” about this, but Russia needed to pay attention to it.

Since launching his full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, something he calls a special military operation to ensure Russia’s own security, Putin has spoken frequently about the size and power of Russia’s nuclear arsenal and warned the West that it is at risk of global conflict. if it goes deeper into the war.

With information from Reuters.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *