The Big Picture

Putin’s potential deal with Kim bodes ill for Indo-Pacific and beyond

Both leaders are isolated and desperate, but the North Korean dictator has far more to gain

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hand with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. Picture: Kremlin Press Office/Getty Images

For somebody often described as the world’s most isolated leader – sanctioned, despised and mocked like few others – Kim Jong-un has a way of putting himself about. In the past four years, the dictator of North Korea has met the presidents of both the US and Russia. For Kim, access is clearly not a problem.

The key to getting him to meet you, it would seem, is to offer him an opportunity to grandstand, ...