Potential Putin-Kim Alliance Spells Mounting Threat for U.S. Global Influence


The specter of a potential alliance between Russian leader Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un presents the U.S. with a significant international concern. A proposed meeting between the two autocrats could prove consequential not only for the conflict in Ukraine, but also for the delicate geopolitical balance in the Pacific, where China predominantly calls the shots.

The U.S., wary of the possible implications, has reacted with a mixture of scorn aimed at Putin, caution directed at North Korea, and efforts to ascertain the exact implications of such a collaboration.

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Russia, engaged in a war with Ukraine that seems destined to extend to another harrowing winter, could benefit from North Korea’s munitions and artillery supplies, as well as their expertise in drone and missile technology. Meanwhile, Kim could leverage Russia’s seasoned nuclear prowess to boost his own burgeoning nuclear program. The added angle of Russia being a significant oil supplier, combined with both nations being subject to severe Western sanctions and restrictions on their global market access, compounds the potential mutual benefits.

The symbolic benefits are also significant for Kim, whose economically beleaguered nation could gain significant propaganda mileage from supporting the far larger Russia. Such a move could also serve to reclaim the attention of Washington, following a diplomatic lull in the wake of heightened interactions during former U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.

The U.S., striving to keep Ukraine’s plight at the forefront, has used intelligence insights to preemptively challenge Putin’s strategic decisions. Rahm Emanuel, U.S ambassador to Japan and a seasoned political conduit, has poignantly underscored that Russia’s empire, if it truly seeks to be reborn through the aggression towards Ukraine, would be alarmingly reliant on outcast nations North Korea and Iran.

Meanwhile, the U.S. National Security adviser, Jake Sullivan, emphasizes the country’s efforts to evaluate the potential influence North Korea could exert over Russia’s military campaign. He maintained, however, that exact insight into the depth and quality of stocks is constrained. Sullivan has also cautioned that any arms trade between North Korea and Russia, potentially impacting Ukraine’s people and infrastructure, would constitute a severe moral misstep. Yet, such an argument would prove ineffective against Kim, whose regime is characterized by widespread human rights abuses.

The possible alliance of Putin and Kim represents significant potential adversity for the U.S., with Russia’s previously cooperative stance towards North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs in jeopardy as Putin pivots towards undermining U.S. global influence. Consequently, North Korea’s destructive capabilities remain a mounting threat to U.S. national security.

The alliance also presents political implications. If North Korea materially bolsters Russia’s ongoing war efforts, it could potentially extend the conflict into the U.S. election year, thus adding political pressure on President Joe Biden, who is already contending with public skepticism regarding Washington’s financial support for Ukraine.

Alongside this, a meeting between Putin and China’s Xi Jinping could signify a consolidating anti-U.S. coalition amongst global autocrats. Putin’s established rapport with Xi has mitigated U.S. unease, but the tangible assistance from Beijing may be lacking—potentially driving Putin towards seeking military aid from North Korea. As a Pacific power, Russia could exacerbate existing instabilities in an already tension-charged geopolitical arena, thus intensifying America’s national security concerns.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.