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Russia’s Role in North Korea’s Military Posturing: Nuclear Cooperation Concerns

North Korean Media Reports Kim Jong Un’s Supervision of Artillery Training
Kim Ju Ae’s Appearance Signals Serious Fourth-Generation Succession
Possibility of Nuclear Cooperation Between Russia and North Korea

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North Korean media reported on the 19th that Kim Jong Un, the chairman of the State Affairs Commission of North Korea, supervised the artillery training of a super-large multiple rocket launcher on March 18th.

The Korean Central News Agency emphasized that Chairman Kim directly supervised the artillery training of the Western Front Artillery Unit and also delivered the training, which “confirmed the power of the People’s Army’s weapons system and the wartime combat capability through fiery movement and salvo of 600mm MRL launcher unit.”

The Korean Central News Agency announced that after the salvo, the North Korean military also conducted a simulated airburst test at the set altitude above by using the super-large rocket launcher. The North Korean media showcased their military power by publishing photos of six super-large rocket launchers being fired simultaneously.

Chairman Kim emphasized the need to solidify the perception even further to enemies that “if a military clash occurs and war breaks out, it will be impossible to avoid disastrous consequences,” targeting South Korea.

Then, he stated, “The People’s Army must more thoroughly perform its mission of blocking and suppressing the possibility of war by always being fully prepared to collapse the enemy’s capital and military structure with its destructive attack means.”

The artillery training of the Western Front Artillery Unit under Chairman Kim Jong Un was reportedly analyzed and evaluated by Kim Jong Sik, the Deputy Director of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party, and Jang Chang Ha, the Director of the Missile Bureau.

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A day before announcing Chairman Kim Jong Un’s participation in the military training on the 19th, North Korea continued its military provocations and show-off of its force, including launching ballistic missiles into the East Sea.

Experts predict that North Korea’s missile launch is a response to the US-South Korea joint military exercises. It is also interpreted as an attempt to prevent South Korea from wearing the pants in their relationship during Secretary of State Tony Blinken’s visit to South Korea.

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Additionally, Kim Jong Un brought his daughter, Kim Ju Ae, to military training for the first time and exposed her through the media. The National Intelligence Service has been preparing for many variables, saying Kim Ju Ae is not a strong candidate. However, with this media exposure, it can be predicted that Kim Ju Ae has risen to Kim Jong Un’s successor.

North Korean media used the word Hyangdo for Kim Ju Ae, the daughter of Chairman Kim. Hyangdo is a word used to refer to the supreme leader in North Korea, meaning to lead to the right place. Using the expression Hyangdo from Kim Jong Un’s regime to Kim Ju Ae predicts North Korea is moving into the serious phase of fourth-generation succession.

According to foreign media, Chairman Kim Jong Un is known to have more children than Kim Ju Ae. His eldest son is known to have a small stature and does not resemble Kim Jong Un, his father, and his grandfather, Kim Il Sung.

Foreign media predict that Kim Jong Un, who values the Baekdu bloodline, hid his small son, who does not resemble him, from the media and exposes his daughter, Kim Ju Ae, who resembles him, marking her as his successor.

However, Kim Ju Ae, born in 2013, is still only in elementary school. Continuous analysis is necessary to determine how Kim Jong Un will manage the successor position in the future.

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Meanwhile, there is suspicion that Russia is behind North Korea’s show of military power and continued provocations. Recently, Russian President Putin has been continuing his long-term rule for 30 years, achieving his fifth term. During the Russian presidential election, he showed tremendous support from the Russian people, with a voting rate exceeding 80%.

Before the Russian general election, Putin drew attention by saying in an interview that “North Korea has its nuclear umbrella.” A nuclear umbrella refers to a system that can protect one’s country with nuclear weapons, and Putin said in an interview that North Korea owns it.

Currently, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) recognizes five countries as nuclear-armed states: the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China. Israel and India are politically recognized countries.

North Korea is a country that cannot possess nuclear weapons either in the treaty or politically, but it is continually developing nuclear weapons. Putin’s remarks this time can be interpreted as a strategy to lead North Korea to the position of a politically recognized nuclear haves.

There are predictions from experts that if North Korea rises to the position of the nuclear haves, nuclear cooperation between Russia and North Korea will continue. Currently, Russia is making quite a bit of mention related to nuclear while at war with Ukraine.

Putin sent a warning message to Ukraine and its allies that he could use nuclear if necessary for war. He also mentioned the 2 million North Korean military, saying that he could ask North Korea for military help, but it is not yet necessary.

As Putin’s regime in Russia continues for 30 years, and North Korea is also preparing for a fourth-generation succession, unusual movements of dictatorial power are being found. It is a time when strong international regulations and condemnations are needed to prevent them from continuing nuclear cooperation.

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