Back in July, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu traveled to Pyongyang to see if perhaps North Korea might be willing to part with a few rounds of ammunition to help backfill reserves depleted by the “Special Military Operation” being waged in Ukraine. Even though it seems as if buying munitions from North Korea would be a violation of United Nations resolutions actually supported by Russia, Vlad “the Mad” Putin isn’t likely to let integrity and virtue stand in his way.

Last week, pursuant to that summertime visit, Vlad and his counterpart in despotism, Kim Jong Un, had a tete-a-tete at a cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East. Putin flew in from Moscow while Kim arrived in his well-appointed armored train car. What was most unusual about such a meeting is that it was Russia arriving hat-in-hand to beg for something rather than the other way around.

It no doubt was an interesting conversation between the two leaders. And while I’m sure the following conversation is not a verbatim recap of what they discussed, it might be close.

VLAD: Good to see you, Kim. Don’t know why you didn’t want to come to Moscow. Why do we have to meet way out here in Nowherevilleski?

KIM: It’s best I don’t stray too far from Pyongyang. My people can’t get along without me.

VLAD: Right. I have the same fear. So, what’s with the train travel all the time? Why don’t you just take a plane?

KIM: No, thanks. Planes tend to crash for no particular reason. You and those who oppose you should know that better than anyone.

VLAD: Rumors. Those were only rumors. So, moving on. What is it the Russian Empire can do for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea this time?

KIM: Well, that’s an interesting comment coming from you. Because at the present, I believe the shoe is on the other foot.

VLAD: Doubtful. I know you still need our food to feed your people.

KIM: They can subsist on nothing more than a little rice, and maybe the occasional slice of bread. Been doing it for years. But I believe YOU need something a little more potent than dinner options.

VLAD: Now that you mention it, I suppose I might be interested in a surplus weapon or two you may have on hand.

KIM: Running a little low in Kyev?

VLAD: No, no, not at all. We’re doing great there. Got the insurgents on the run. And I want you to know how much the great Russian people appreciate the support of the DPRK patriots you so nobly and ably command.

KIM: You do speak the truth. And flattery will get you everything. What do you want from us?

VLAD: Not much. I’m thinking every missile, tank, rifle, grenade launcher, bomb, bullet, and assorted munitions you’ve made this year, plus anything you’ve got left over from last year, should do it.

KIM: All of it?

VLAD: If it’s not too much trouble. I can send some trucks and cargo planes to pick it up if that helps.

KIM: You got cash?

VLAD: Our nations have been friends for a long time, right?

KIM: No cash, eh?

VLAD: That’s something we might have to negotiate. We’ve got quite a bit of capital tied up elsewhere.

KIM: Okay. Let’s talk nukes.

VLAD: Not sure I can help you there.

KIM: Then perhaps this conversation is at an end.

VLAD: Well, wait a minute. How about a rocket or two for launching? Would that work?

KIM: We are having a bit of trouble on that end of the equation. Accuracy and distance seem to be an issue as well.

VLAD: Great. We can help with those. My boys can bring the boosters you need when they come to get the other materials. Oh, on one condition. You can’t be lobbing missiles at the United States. Americans are funny about being attacked. They could flatten you in retaliation. You realize that, right?

KIM: What about launching them toward Japan?

VLAD: Check with China first.

KIM: Fine. Look, I just like to rattle cages. And take pictures with big rockets.

VLAD: Oh, yeah, yeah, sure. I get that. It’s part of my modus operandi too.

KIM: In addition, don’t forget the food for the masses too. And I wouldn’t complain if you could throw in a few dozen tins of Beluga caviar and a couple cases of Stolichnaya vodka. Just enough to fill the larder at the Presidential Palace.

VLAD: How about some borscht?

KIM: No borscht. Gives me gas.

VLAD: All right. Consider it done.

KIM: Excellent. Good doing business with you, Comrade.

VLAD: Right. Just keep the ammo coming.

©MMXXIII. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer