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Putin Lauds 'New Era' of Ties with N.Korea, Visits Pyongyang

Putin thanked Kim for supporting Russia's war on Ukraine's "U.S. imperialist policies," cementing an emboldened anti-West alliance during their extended meeting.

Putin Lauds 'New Era' of Ties with N.Korea, Visits Pyongyang

Seoul, South Korea — On Wednesday, June 19th, 2024, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a historic visit to Pyongyang, North Korea. This marked his first trip to the North Korean capital in 24 years. Upon arriving at the airport, Putin was welcomed by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The main purpose of this summit meeting appears to be for Russia and North Korea to present a united front to the world, despite the various challenges and crises the two nations are currently facing on different fronts. By coming together, Putin and Kim likely aim to show solidarity and project an image of strength in the face of adversity.

 

This visit aimed to expand Russia and North Korea's economic and military cooperation, cementing a united front against Washington. They signed a pact pledging to defend each other if attacked. However, there are strong rumors among U.S. and Western officials that Russia mainly wants to ensure a steady supply of North Korean weapons for its Ukraine war - an ominous prospect for Ukraine and its international backers.

 

Ties between Russia and North Korea have deepened since Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, fueling worries that Pyongyang is supplying weapons to Russia in exchange for Russian technological know-how.

 

This summit meeting was a display of strength and unity, intended to portray what Russia and North Korea want the world to see as a new era in their relations. The visit culminated with the signing of a new agreement between the two countries, which Putin described as laying the foundation for ties between them for years to come.

 

After meeting with Kim Jong Un, Putin stated that the newly signed agreement has a defensive nature, including a pledge of "mutual assistance" if either nation is attacked, according to Russian news reports. He described it as a "breakthrough" pact that will elevate Russia-North Korea ties to "a new level." This comprehensive new strategic partnership treaty inked on Wednesday replaces the previous bilateral agreements and declarations signed between the two countries in 1961, 2000, and 2001.

 


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