North Korean Delegation Visits Iran

Kim Jong-un Warns Against Military Escalation With US and South Korea

( – A group of North Korean officials, led by the minister for external economic relations, Yun Jong Ho, visited Iran on April 23. Experts believe the two countries have secret military ties, and both are helping Russia in its war with Ukraine. South Korean intelligence services say Yun also guides the North’s relationship with Syria and visited Moscow earlier this year.

Analysts believe North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is undertaking fresh diplomatic engagements to build an anti-America alliance and bring about a new Cold War.

The last time North Korea publicly engaged with the Islamic regime in Iran was in 2019, when Pak Chol Min, a member of parliament in the North Korean capital Pyongyang, visited for a week.

The latest visit comes as Iran is engaged in military skirmishes with crucial US ally Israel. South Korean intelligence warns that North Korea may even have been involved in the Hamas attack on the Jewish state last October and is likely funneling weapons to Hamas.

Lami Kim, professor of security studies at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center, said, “Further military cooperation between the two countries is very likely.”

Kim Jong Un is also increasing his efforts to engage with China and hosted top Chinese official Zhao Leji in early April. Zhao is ranked third in the Chinese Communist Party, and his meeting with Kim was the highest level engagement between the two countries for some years.

Last year, Kim also met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit in Russia. The US accuses the two leaders of secretly sharing military secrets and exchanging weapons, but both deny this. Mr. Putin told reporters he discussed military cooperation with Kim Jong Un, but Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said these discussions were sensitive and “a private matter.”

To mark the fifth anniversary of his first meeting with Putin on April 25, Kim Jong Un released a statement saying he was committed to fostering strong and mutually beneficial relations with Moscow.

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