The New York Times reported on Monday that Kim is planning to travel to Russia later this month to discuss supplying weapons to Russia. The Times report, which cited several unnamed officials from the US and its allies, added that Kim was seeking food supplies for North Korea.
Hertling was speaking to CNN’s Jim Acosta on Monday, and said the Kim-Putin meeting is a union between “two desperate leaders of the world’s most noted pariah states.”
“This will generate a lot of attention. It’s showing that Mr. Putin is scrambling for help,” said Hertling, who previously served as the commanding general of US Army Europe.
Russia has incurred significant losses in manpower and resources since it invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
US officials estimated last month that Russia’s military casualties are approaching 300,000, of which as many as 120,000 are deaths, and up to 180,000 are injuries.
In May, open-source intelligence website Oryx said the Russian military has lost at least two-thirds of its tanks since the war began.
Retired Maj. Gen. James “Spider” Marks, who was speaking to CNN alongside Hertling, said North Korea’s weapons are unlikely to turn the tide of the war in Russia’s favor.
“Additional weapons from North Korea to Russia? Not surprising at all. They share the same type of caliber weapon systems. So it’s an immediate plus-up,” Marks told CNN. “But again, this is not going to strategically alter the outcome of the fight in Ukraine.”
A representative for Russia’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider sent outside regular business hours.