North Korea Finds New Leverage in the Ukraine War
Kim Jong-un is likely to seek missile and warhead technology in an expected visit to Russia, and he is already getting a public embrace he has long sought.
SEOUL For Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, a rare trip to Russia this month to discuss military aid for President Vladimir V. Putins Ukraine war effort could provide two things the North has wanted for a long time: technical help with its weapons programs, and to finally be needed by an important neighbor.
North Korea has not been used to getting a lot of attention other than global condemnation for its nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests. But Russias urgency to make new gains in the war is offering Mr. Kim a bit of the geopolitical spotlight and a new way to both irk the United States and draw closer to Moscow and Beijing.
Though Russia has long been a crucial ally for the isolated North, relations between the two countries have at times grown tense since the disintegration of the Soviet Union. And Russia accounts for very little of the economic trade that North Korea needs; China alone provides nearly all of that.