Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has officially accepted an invitation to visit North Korea on October 18-19, according to Moscow’s foreign ministry. This visit highlights the deepening relationship between the two countries. It follows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s recent visit to Russia, which raised concerns in the West about potential weapon supplies from North Korea to Moscow for the conflict in Ukraine.
The foreign ministry stated, “At the invitation of the (North Korean) foreign ministry, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov will pay an official visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from 18-19 October.”
Lavrov is currently in Beijing, preparing for an upcoming visit to China by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin has sought trade and support from Beijing amidst increasing isolation from Western nations.
Both Russia and North Korea, long-standing allies, face international sanctions. Russia is sanctioned for its involvement in Ukraine, while North Korea faces sanctions due to its nuclear weapon tests.
There is speculation that Russia is interested in purchasing ammunition from North Korea to sustain its military operations in Ukraine, while Pyongyang seeks Russia’s assistance in advancing its condemned missile program.