Russia and China meet in North Korea and view new nuclear missile threat to US

Senior officials from Russia and China have met in North Korea and viewed deadly new nuclear weapons – that reportedly have the range to strike targets anywhere in the United States.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu made history during the trip, when he became the first Kremlin defence chief to visit North Korea since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. China’s delegation was the first since the Covid-19 pandemic.

They stood alongside dictator Kim Jong Un at a military parade in Pyongyang as they were shown North Korea’s latest nuclear-capable missiles and attack drones. They were part of a parade on Thursday night (July 27) that makes the 70th anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953 – celebrated in North Korea as ‘Victory Day’. 

North Korea’s nuclear arsenal was banned by the United Nations Security Council – with the backing of both China and Russia. Both countries have previously distanced themselves from their neighbour’s nuclear weapons.

However, Kim, Shoigu and Chinese Communist Party Politburo member Li Hongzhong appeared to be chatting and joking – and saluted as North Korea rolled out its new Hwasong-17 and Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missiles, which are reported to have the range to strike targets anywhere in the United States.

Shoigu reportedly praised the North Korean military as the strongest in the world. He and Kim were said to have discussed strategic security and defence cooperation.


The US has accused Pyongyang of providing weapons to Russia for its war effort in Ukraine. Moscow and Pyongyang have both denied the claims.

However, on Thursday, State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said Washington is “incredibly concerned” about ties between Moscow and Pyongyang. And the presence of China has stoked fears that the rogue trio have formed a new horror alliance.

Political experts have said the alliance is a major cause for concern – and will have “huge consequences”. Paul Bracken, professor of management and political science at the Yale School of Management, said: “We’re seeing new coalitions taking shape right before our eyes, like Israel and the Saudis, and here with Russia, China and North Korea.

“There will be huge consequences: evading sanctions; sell ammo, drones, and landmines; and allow key specialists to help build their national programs. A Russian missile engineer can more easily go to North Korea to consult now.”

And John R. Bryson, Professor of Enterprise and Economic Geography Birmingham University said that while North Korea’s defense capabilities aren’t going to of too much use to the Russians, the alliance is still concerning.

He said: “Russia’s ongoing military cooperation with North Korea is an example of Putin’s desperation. North Korea is not an innovator in terms of military technology. North Korea can provide Russia with weapons, but of what quality and quantity?

“There are also dangers for Putin in Russia becoming too aligned with North Korea. What could be forming is an alliance of rogue states.”