North Korea held a paramilitary parade on the 75th anniversary of the founding of the regime, which according to state media was attended by the leader Kim Jong-un and delegations of China and Russiacountries with which Pyongyang deepens your ties.
At the event, which took place at Kim Il Sung Square in the capital Pyongyang, “paramilitary forces” participated instead of regular army soldiers, and weapons banned by the UN, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, were not on display, state media reported.
Images from the official press showed uniformed paramilitary brigades, some on tractors or large red trucks, all under the watchful eye of Kim and her smiling daughter.
Kim met with a Chinese delegation led by State Council Vice Premier Liu Guozhong. It is the second visit in six weeks by senior Chinese officials, an indication that Pyongyang is relaxing its border control against Covid.
Both parties announced their intention to continue “intensifying coordination and cooperation” between the two countries, the official North Korean agency also reported. KCNA.
Another group of Russian diplomats and a singing and dancing group also attended the event, this media explained.
Russia recently received permission to add new diplomats to its mission in Pyongyang, according to the Moscow embassy. This is the first staff turnover since 2019.
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, quoted by the Kremlin, congratulated Kim on the anniversary, advocating strengthening “bilateral ties on all fronts.”
“This is fully in the interest of our people,” he stated, adding that since the proclamation of the Pyongyang regime, “relations between our countries have been based on the principles of friendship, good neighborliness and mutual respect.”
According to Chinese state media, the president Xi Jinping also congratulated Kim in a call.
“For the North Koreans it is a new confirmation that they have the support of China and a good confirmation that, since the war in Ukraine, Russia has no choice but to support North Korea,” said analyst Andrei Lankov.
New cold war?
The visit of liu guozhong joins that of another senior Beijing official, Li Hongzhongmember of the Political Committee of the Chinese Communist Partyin July.
This presence of Chinese and Russian dignitaries fuels speculation of a meeting between Kim and Putin to discuss arms sales agreements.
The North Korean leader does not usually travel abroad, and has not left the country since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
Official US sources told the newspaper The New York Times that Kim will travel this month by armored train to the nearby Russian city of Vladivostok to meet with Putin.
Lankov stated that a meeting between the two is “likely,” because for Moscow, “North Korea can be used as a tool to influence the behavior of the United States, South Korea” and other countries regarding the war in Ukraine.
However, the Kremlin denied the meeting for the second time this week.
“No, I don’t know anything,” declared the spokesman for the Russian presidency Dmitri Peskov when asked if he had information about a possible meeting.
The growing cooperation between China, Russia and North Koreaadded to Xi’s absence at the G20 summit in India, shows “a growing fissure in Asia’s geopolitical landscape,” said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at the Ewha University Seoul.
“Most actors in the region want to avoid a new Cold War, but this looks increasingly difficult as Beijing and Moscow support Pyongyang,” he said.
This week, Pyongyang unveiled its first “tactical nuclear attack submarine,” but the South Korean military said the ship may not be operational.
(With information from AFP)