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Why Russia Sent Spy Chief to North Korea

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By Jaden Francis - - 5 Mins Read
Sergei Naryshkin | BBC/YT

The visit by Sergei Naryshkin, the director of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, to Pyongyang indicates a noteworthy advancement in the relationship between Russia and North Korea. 

The rare disclosure by state media emphasizes the seriousness of the discussions conducted during the visit.

During his March 25 to 27 visit, Naryshkin discussed pertinent international and regional affairs with North Korea's State Security Minister, Ri Chang Dae.

These talks were not merely causal; they looked into practical strategies to enhance cooperation between the two nations.

According to a report by the KCNA, the meeting between Russia's Sergei Naryshkin and North Korea's State Security Minister Ri Chang Dae "widely and deeply discussed practical issues for further boosting cooperation to cope with the ever-growing spying and plotting moves by the hostile forces."

The relationship between Russia and North Korea is not a recent development; it is a historical alliance dating back to the Cold War era.

In 1948, the Soviet Union was the first to recognize the Democratic People's Republic of Korea formally, and the ties between these nations have endured since then.

Their bond was further solidified during the Korean War, where the Soviet Union provided military backing to the North.

Despite strained international relations, the meeting between Naryshkin and Ri Chang Dae has huge implications. It reflects Russia's efforts to strengthen its ties with North Korea and extend its geopolitical strength. 

Notably, Naryshkin's role as President Vladimir Putin's close confidant amplifies the course of his diplomatic mission.


Vladimir Putin, President of Russia
Vladimir Putin, President of Russia | Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock


As the head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, his visit shows the strategic importance Moscow places on its relationship with Pyongyang.

Sanctions and Allegations

Both Russia and North Korea are under heavy international sanctions.

Russia is dealing with sanctions because of its role in the conflict in Ukraine, while North Korea is facing sanctions due to its nuclear and missile programs.

The United States and its allies have accused North Korea of supplying ballistic missiles to Russia for use against Ukraine.

These allegations complicate the geopolitical alliance despite denial from both governments. It is challenging to believe these denials.

The relationship between Russia and North Korea draws attention to the delicate balancing act on the global stage.

As the United States expresses deep concern over Putin's relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the geopolitical ramifications are becoming increasingly apparent.

Moreover, Russia's commitments to support North Korea's surveillance satellite initiative and upgrade its military equipment indicate a strategic convergence that may have significant implications.

Given the influence of past conflicts and current partnerships, other influential countries, such as China, are closely observing this association.

Eyes on the Horizon

The world is closely watching Russia and North Korea as they engage diplomatically. Their relationship's strategic implications are of great concern across geopolitical fault lines. This interaction reflects how global politics could evolve over time.