A Rare North Korea-Russia Summit on Satellites, Arms Deals – DNyuz

A Rare North Korea-Russia Summit on Satellites, Arms Deals

Welcome back to World Brief, where we’re looking at a rare meeting between Russian and North Korean leaders, Ukraine‘s largest naval attack yet, and Brazil‘s historic trial against alleged Jan. 8 insurrectionists.

Welcome back to World Brief, where we’re looking at a rare meeting between Russian and North Korean leaders, Ukraine‘s largest naval attack yet, and Brazil‘s historic trial against alleged Jan. 8 insurrectionists. Sign up for World Brief to arrive in your mailbox every day.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un touted his best friend status with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday during a rare overseas visit. Both heads of state toured the launch pad at Russia’s Vostochny cosmodrome in Amur oblast, before engaging in hours-long one-on-one discussions. Kim stated, “We’ll always be with Russia.”

Holding meetings at the most important launch site on Russian soil suggests the two leaders may be discussing satellite technology and arms deals. In recent months, Pyongyang has tried and failed to launch a military spy satellite into orbit. In talks with Putin, it seems that Russia may be willing to assist North Korea in developing its military surveillance technology in return for weapons in order to replenish Moscow’s quickly depleting arsenal during its war on Ukraine.

“From North Korea’s point of view, this gets them back into really significant contact with Russia for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union,” said former U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton. A growing alliance between the two autocracies could manifest in stronger efforts to combat Western dominance on the world stage.

Already, that is evident via new missile tests. Mere hours before Kim first met with Putin, North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles. Each missile traveled roughly 400 miles before landing outside of Japan’s exclusive economic zone. This was Pyongyang’s first missile test with Kim outside of the country, demonstrating the country’s increasingly assertive military posture. North Korea has launched more than 100 missiles since the start of 2022–in direct defiance of U.N. sanctions. Last week, North Korea unveiled its first tactical nuclear attack submarine, named Hero Kim Kun Ok, and in late August, Pyongyang simulated a tactical nuclear missile strike against South Korea.

Attack on Sevastopol. Ukraine attacked Russian naval targets and port infrastructure in Russian-occupied Sevastopol on Wednesday, marking the biggest strike on Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet since the war began. Among the vessels hit were a large landing ship and a submarine, both of which were undergoing repairs, according to Kyiv military intelligence. Ukrainian Air Force commander Lt. Gen. Mykola Oleshchuk suggested that Storm Shadow cruise missiles supplied by the United Kingdom and France were used in the assault.

Since Moscow left the Black Sea Grain Initiative in July, it has used its Black Sea Fleet to impose a blockade on grain shipments coming in and out of Ukraine, “thereby strangling its agricultural industry and exerting yet another pressure point on Kyiv outside of the battlefield,” wrote FP’s Christina Lu and Amy Mackinnon.

Brasilia’s insurrection fate. Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court kicked off historic trials on Wednesday against nearly 1,400 alleged participants of the attempted Jan. 8 insurrection in support of former President Jair Bolsonaro. The first cases on the docket concern three men arrested by the police when they stormed the capital. The men are accused of attempting to eliminate democratic rule, criminal associations, and violence towards state property. If found guilty, they could face up to 30 years in prison.

Despite efforts to rein in anti-democratic forces through legal means, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s greatest challenge remains not the average far-right supporter but rather Brazil’s military. “Decades after the end of Brazil’s military dictatorship, civilians still do not fully control the country’s security establishment,” argued political scientist Oliver Stuenkel in Foreign Policy. “This is the biggest weakness Brazil’s democracy faces today.”

Civilian deaths in Darfur. Tragedy befell Darfur, Sudan, on Wednesday when at least 40 civilians were killed in a Sudanese military airstrike on two markets and numerous local neighborhoods. The air raid follows the deaths of at least 17 people in Omdurman on Tuesday, caused by shelling from the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). And it comes after more than 50 people were killed in airstrikes on southern Khartoum over the weekend.

Since fighting between the RSF and Sudanese army erupted in April, nearly 7,500 people have been killed and more than 1 million others forced to flee. On Wednesday, U.N. envoy to Sudan Volker Perthes stepped down from his post after Sudanese officials declared him persona non grata in June, making him unable to enter the country.

The streets ran red in Levira, Portugal, on Sunday. Don’t be alarmed–it was not as bad as you might think. Two tanks containing nearly 600,000 gallons of red wine collapsed at a distillery, flooding the small town’s streets. No one was hurt. This delicious, but expensive incident brings to light a larger problem: Europe’s wine shortage crisis. Due to a surplus of wine and a lack of customers who want it, the producers have no choice but to store their excess in large tanks such as those that leaked in Levira. We’d love to help them out, but they are free to keep their street wine.

The post A Rare North Korea-Russia Summit on Satellites, Arms Deals appeared first on Foreign Policy.