Russian President Vladimir Putin has found it increasingly difficult to fuel the war effort in Ukraine. But he has welcomed a visitor who can satisfy his need for ammunition. He met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, suggesting they can "work as equals."
On Wednesday, Kim and Putin met at a spaceport in Russia's Far East, their first meeting in four years. Putin welcomed the North Korean leader, saying he was "very glad to see" him and that they "have a lot of issues to discuss."
Putin had said he could help the North Korean space program to build and launch satellites. However, neither side publicly addressed the possibility of Putin getting artillery shells in return. Still, Kim said the relationship would be his "number one priority," and he offered his support over the fighting in Ukraine.
Kim said, "The Russian army and people will certainly win a great victory in the sacred struggle for the punishment of a great evil."
US officials have warned repeatedly against any military support for Russia. White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said on Wednesday that they do not know what will come out of the Putin-Kim meeting but will respond if necessary.
Kirby said, "No nation on the planet -- nobody -- should be helping Mr. Putin kill innocent civilians."
Kirby added that any arrangement that would improve North Korea's military capabilities would be a "significant concern."