The reaffirmed alliance between Russia and North Korea is "troubling," as it will give North Korea the means to be a "much more dangerous state," Fred Fleitz, the vice chairman of the First American Policy Institute's Center for American Security, said on Newsmax Sunday.
"It's certainly troubling that Russia is looking for ammunition that it may be able to use to stop or slow the counteroffensive being conducted by Ukraine right now, but I think we should look at this in a broader context, Fleitz, who appeared on Newsmax's "Wake Up America" with Walid Phares, commented. "This may be an attempt by Putin to reestablish the client-state relationship that North Korea had with the Soviet Union that ended when the Soviet Union broke up."
The alliance, he added, will allow North Korea to "meddle in regional disputes and build up its missile program. I think it's a very destabilizing development."
The New York Times last week argued that cooperation between Russia and North Korea could escalate provocative actions while undercutting China's efforts to stabilize ties with the West, but Phares said he does not agree.
"They're banking on contradictions between China and Russia," he said. "China may tell us that they want to continue with the trade relations with us.
"They're going to mediate with Russia, but strategically, this is the rise of an axis, which is Russia, China, North Korea and Iran, and maybe more. Of course, what's happening in Africa? Now we could add it later. "
Further, Phares said that he is concerned that the relationship between Russia and North Korea will affect U.S. national security and international security in the northern Pacific.
"Remember — over the past few months, China, Russia, North Korea, and other nations have conducted strategic maneuvers on one of their boats," he said. "One of their ships came very close to Alaska.
Fleitz also Sunday discussed the deal to return $6 billion in previously frozen funds to Iran in exchange for five American prisoners, particularly after Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said his government will spend the money "wherever we need it," even while U.S. officials insist the money is only to be spent on humanitarian needs.
The Biden administration has rejected the use of the word ransom in connection with the deal, but Fleitz said he finds that ironic.
"In 2016 when the Obama administration paid $1.7 billion in pallets of cash to free five U.S. hostages it also objected that it was being called ransom," said Fleitz. "Stephen Colbert said on the air, 'Well, you know why people are calling this ransom. They know what the word ransom means.'"
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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