Harris: Meeting between Russian, North Korean leaders would be ‘huge mistake’

Vice President Harris said that a meeting between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin would be a mistake, saying it would further isolate both countries.

North Korea is considering supplying Moscow with artillery rounds and rockets in return for critical technology and food. The deal could be made later this month when Kim is planning to go to Moscow.

“I think it would be a huge mistake. The idea that they would be supplying ammunition to that end … would be a huge mistake,” Harris told CBS’s Margaret Brennan in an interview in Jakarta, Indonesia. “I also believe very strongly that for both Russia and North Korea, this will further isolate them.”

“It is very clear that Russia has — clearly they’re very desperate. They have already experienced a strategic failure,” the vice president continued. “Just think about it, at the beginning of it all, year-and-a-half ago, the pundits were saying that this would be over in days. Well, the Ukrainians are still fighting.”

The full interview is set to air Sunday on CBS. Harris was interviewed while representing the U.S. in place of President Biden at a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

U.S. officials have recently warned that the relationship between North Korea and Russia is strengthening, and that a potential military support deal between North Korea and Russia would be a concerning next step. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu traveled to North Korea in July and asked for military support, according to the White House.

North Korea has not directly supported Russia’s armed forces during the war in Ukraine, although Pyongyang reportedly supplied the mercenary company Wagner Group with rockets and artillery. The move led to U.S. sanctions against North Korean entities responsible for the arms transfers.

Tags Biden administration Kamala Harris Kim Jong Un North Korea North Korea-Russia russia Russia-Ukraine war Sergei Shoigu Vladimir Putin