Crab Dumplings

Kim Jong-Un and Vladimir Putin wandered around a spaceport in the middle of Russia’s Far-East nowhere on Wednesday.

Trailed by lackeys including a couple of Kim’s decrepit, elaborately-costumed generals, the dictator duo toured launch pads while Kremlin photographers snapped propaganda pictures.

Kim queried a Russian space official about Soyuz-2 rockets. Kim, Putin told reporters, “shows keen interest in rocket technology.” “They’re trying to develop space, too,” he added, suggesting Russia might be willing to assist Pyongyang’s space program, presumably in exchange for munitions. Kim brought along Jo Chun Ryong, who presides over the hermit kingdom’s vast store of rockets and artillery shells.

After a meeting where the two surely discussed weapons transfers, Putin and Kim drank wine and dined on duck salad with figs and nectarine, Kamchatka crab dumplings, fish soup, sturgeon, marbled beef, sorbet and Siberian bilberries with pine nuts and condensed milk.

That, while North Korea’s populace starves and Ukrainians ponder the prospect of being killed by falling missile debris or, in Russian-occupied territory, raped and abducted.

Officially, the bilateral meeting covered economic cooperation between the two “powerhouses.” In GDP terms, Russia is barely larger than Florida. In 2021, North Korea said its GDP was $33.5 billion. So, Vermont basically. Vermont with nukes and Somalia-style poverty.

Putin and Kim also discussed “humanitarian issues,” according to Putin, as well as the regional “situation.”

Plainly, Kim intends to supply Putin with weapons to replenish the Kremlin’s depleted coffers. Kim called the war in Ukraine “a just fight against hegemonic forces” and said Putin is “defending” Russia’s “sovereign rights.”

North Korea, Kim went on, will deepen “strategic and tactical cooperation” with Putin and “always stand with Russia on the anti-imperialist front.”

Apparently, Kim’s going to tour an aircraft plant while he’s in Russia and Putin suggested the Russian Navy will conduct a “demonstration of capabilities” for Kim to observe (nobody mention the Moskva).

Just in case the optics weren’t supervillain-ish enough, Kim had somebody fire off a few ballistic missiles back home. He also offered his expert opinion on the war. “We believe with certainty that the Russian army and people will achieve a great victory,” he declared, obliquely referring to NATO and the US as “evil forces pursuing expansionary ambitions.”

This is all at once too absurd to take seriously and so serious that it demands attention, which was by design. Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Now, Putin has tentatively committed to helping Kim build satellites. Whether he follows through is anyone’s guess.

At the end of the day, the spectacle still underscored desperation in Moscow. Putin is reduced to plying Kim with crab dumplings to secure some of North Korea’s old artillery shells.


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8 thoughts on “Crab Dumplings

    1. Avert!

      If he wins in 2024, the world is going to get very dangerous. Not b/c he’d do anything but b/c every villain will feel his day has come.

  1. As always there’s a thought in my mind I can’t put words to and then H comes out with it; “ This is all at once too absurd to take seriously and so serious that it demands attention”.

    1. Yeah, if it were a movie, we’d think the script was lazy and formulaic, but it’s as though we are living in the sequel to Last Action Hero where the movie bad guys came to life.

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