Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un have met for the first time. This is a major event not only for Russia and the DPRK, but for the whole world. The communication of the two leaders was filled with various signs emphasizing the special relations of Moscow and Pyongyang. In addition, there were direct hints that Donald Trump should now have to figure out.
The five-hour meeting between Putin and Kim on Russky Island was marked by many symbolic details and statements.
Putin, at the very beginning of the negotiations, reminded Kim that his grandfather (named by him simply the founder of the DPRK) made his first visit to Moscow in 1949.
Indeed, Kim Il Sung’s first trip to the USSR took place in the spring of 1949 — but before that, from 1941–1945, Kim lived in the USSR, in the Khabarovsk Region, where, with the rank of captain of the Soviet army, he was a battalion commander in separate rifle brigade. The battalion was formed from Korean partisans who had taken refuge on Soviet territory after the Japanese had cleaned Manchuria from Chinese and Korean rebels.
Kim Jong Un’s father, who died at the end of 2011, was born in the village of Vyatskoye. In the DPRK, this is not widely known, but there is no doubt that Kim Jong-un knows the true history of his family.
And over time, he will certainly want, even unofficially, to visit the village of Vyatskoye, the real homeland of his father.
But already now, speaking at a ceremonial dinner with Putin, he spoke about what North Korean propaganda has practically not spoken about in recent decades – about the liberation of Korea by the Soviet army. In the official history of the DPRK, the liberation of the country from the Japanese is presented as a merit of Kim Il Sung and his partisans, although in reality this was the result of the defeat by the Red Army of the Japanese Kwantung Army.
And now Kim Jong-un directly said:”The peoples of our countries have long ago, in the course of the joint struggle in the great anti-Japanese war of the last century, sealed their military friendship, and the valiant soldiers and officers of the Red Army shed their hot blood for the liberation of Korea without hesitation.Years and centuries are passing away, but our people remember and will forever keep the memory of the noble international exploits that the sons and daughters of the Russian people have committed, giving their precious lives in the name of the sacred cause of the liberation of Korea.”
It is not just a courtesy or restoration of historical justice. The mention of “military friendship” has a very specific reference to modern times.
No, Kim does not want to become a military ally of Russia, the very concept of the existence of the DPRK consists in complete independence from anyone. But the DPRK has a reminder of military friendship with only two countries – China (who fought for the DPRK with the Americans in 1950–1953) and Russia. Kim denotes commitment to this relationship, singling out Russia as a true friend of the DPRK.
Therefore, it is not accidental that the exchange of gifts is the same – the Circassian sabre that Putin presented to Kim and the Korean sword received in response. “When there were no modern weapons, they used such swords – they personify the strength, my soul and our people who support you” – with these words Kim accompanied the presentation of the gift.
This is of the most symbolic significance: Kim recalls that he has a formidable modern weapon, but it does not threaten Russia in any way. On the contrary, Korea supports Russia in the confrontation with the United States.
Indeed, the paradox of the situation is that the US is putting pressure on both Russia and the DPRK – but at the same time Russia formally supports sanctions against North Korea. The explanation for this position is simple. Since the DPRK acquired nuclear weapons on its own, that is, bypassing international treaties, Moscow and Beijing had no arguments against the American demand to organize international pressure on Pyongyang. But at the same time, both in China and in Russia, they are well aware that the North Korean missiles do not threaten our countries, but serve as a shield from the United States, a guarantee that the superpower will not attack the country of Kim.