Vladimir Putin and fellow dictator Kim Jong Un formed a ‘blood alliance’ during their arms deal talks in Russia, an analyst has said.

It raises fears that North Korea will supply Moscow with ammunition for the gruelling war in Ukraine. 

Putin has even accepted an invitation to visit North Korea in a growing sign of the despot’s desperation to forge ties with Pyongyang to help his war effort. 

The Russian warmonger had greeted Kim yesterday at Russia’s modern space rocket launch site with an enthusiastic handshake that lasted 40 seconds in a rare summit.

Western officials and a former US general said yesterday that the fact that Putin had to plead with Kim for ageing ammunition and rockets to help with his grinding war is a ‘clear sign of his isolation and desperation’. 

And now, Putin has gone one step further and accepted the invitation to visit North Korea ‘with pleasure’ after the two dictators called each other ‘comrades’ as they toasted their future cooperation over a dinner featuring crab dumplings, sturgeon and beef.

The two dictators, both of whom have been ostracised by the West, even gifted each other rifles ‘of the highest quality’ following the summit while Putin also gave Kim a glove from a space suit that had ‘been in space several times’, the Kremlin said.  

Western countries have repeatedly raised concerns of a possible arms agreement between Russia and North Korea, as Moscow’s war in Ukraine grinds on. 

Experts have now warned Kim’s visit to Russia is a sign that the relations between the two dictatorships have ‘completely returned to the level of blood alliance during the Cold War’. ‘The summit signals a seismic change in the Northeast Asian geopolitics,’ said Kim Jong-dae, a former MP and visiting scholar at Yonsei Institute for North Korean Studies.

A stronger alliance between North Korea, Russia and China could become a ‘destabilising force in the region’, and ammunition from Pyongyang could significantly impact the war in Ukraine.

‘I think Russia has already tested the North Korean shells in battlefields and is now ready to expand its use going forward. 

‘And neither the US nor South Korea has come to grips with the implications of such an arms deal between Russia and the North,’ he said.

Russia became a pariah in the West after invading Ukraine last year and has looked to strengthen alliances with other leaders facing similar isolation.

Putin on Wednesday praised the ‘strengthening of cooperation and friendship between our countries’, while hosting Kim.

He also said Moscow could help Pyongyang build satellites – after the North failed twice recently to put a military spy satellite into orbit.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said any cooperation would be ‘quite troubling and would potentially be in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions’.

Kim, who travelled overland to Russia in his bullet-proof train, was accompanied by a military-heavy entourage, with top Russian military officials including Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu also involved in the talks.

‘With Kim Jong Un’s latest visit to Russia, North Korea-Russia relations can be said to have completely returned to the level of blood alliance during the Cold War,’ Cheong Seong-chang, researcher at the Sejong Institute, told AFP.

‘There have been many summit meetings between North Korea and Russia so far, but there has never been a time when North Korea brought in almost all of its key military officials like the one happening right now.’

Following the summit, Putin and Kim gifted each other rifles, the Kremlin said. 

Putin ‘gave (Kim) a rifle from our production of the highest quality. In turn, he also received a North Korean-made rifle,’ Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Putin also give Kim ‘a glove from a space suit that has been in space several times’, Peskov said, while Putin ‘gratefully’ accepted an invitation to visit North Korea. 

He said Kim’s visit to Russia, which began on Tuesday, would last ‘a few more days’ without giving any further details.

Among the results of the leaders’ summit were Russian promises of help with North Korea’s fledgling space programme, according to Russian news agencies. Putin also told reporters he saw ‘possibilities’ for military cooperation.

But Ben Hodges, former commander of US forces in Europe, said that the fact that Putin is having to ‘plead for ammunition’ from Kim to help with his grinding war in Ukraine is a ‘clear sign of his isolation and desperation’. 

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