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Putin assures North Korea of ​​his “unwavering support”, border incidents

Russian President Vladimir Putin assured Tuesday North Korea's "unwavering support" of his country facing à "the cunning, dangerous and aggressive enemy", à a few hours after his arrival at Pyongyang for an exceptional visit, preceded by incidents the inter-Korean border.

Mr. Putin is due to make a state visit to North Korea on Tuesday and Wednesday, after which a strategic partnership agreement could be signed between these two countries whose alliance the West perceives as a threat.

“Russia supported (North Korea) and its heroic people in their struggle to defend their right to choose the path of independence, originality and development on their own in the confrontation with the cunning, dangerous and aggressive enemy, yesterday and tomorrow too, and it will unwaveringly support them in the future,” Mr. Putin wrote in an article published by the official North Korean daily Rodong Sinmun and the KCNA agency.

He also affirmed that Pyongyang “strongly supports” the Russian military offensive in Ukraine and thanked it.< /p>

Americans and Europeans have been worried for months about the accelerated rapprochement between Moscow and Pyongyang, accusing the North Koreans of delivering munitions to Russia for its assault on Ukraine in exchange for technological, diplomatic and food assistance.

Putin assures North Korea of ​​his “unwavering support”, border incidents

Photo distributed by the Russian agency Sputnik showing Russian President Vladimir Putin (d) and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un (l) during a meeting at the Vostochnyy cosmodrome, September 13, 2023 in Russia © POOL – Vladimir SMIRNOV

This visit “shows how dependent President Putin and Moscow have become on authoritarian countries around the world. Their closest friends and greatest supporters of the Russian war effort – the war of “aggression – are North Korea, Iran and China”, commented NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg from Washington on Monday, stressing that Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, now ” violates sanctions” imposed on North Korea.

– Strategic partnership –

“What concerns us is the deepening of the relationship between these two countries, not only because of the impact it will have on the Ukrainian people, because we know that North Korean ballistic missiles are still being used to strike Ukrainian targets, but also because there could be some reciprocity that could affect the security of the Korean Peninsula,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.

Putin assures North Korea of ​​his “unwavering support”, border incidents

Russian President Vladimir Putin hosts a banquet for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Vostochny cosmodrome in the Amur region on September 13, 2023. © KCNA VIA KNS – STR

Vladimir Putin's diplomatic advisor, Yuri Ushakov, told Russian media that “important, very significant documents” will be signed, referring to “the possible conclusion of a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement”.

“This treaty, if it is signed, will of course be conditioned by the profound evolution of the geopolitical situation in the world and in the region and by the qualitative changes which have recently taken place in our bilateral relations,” he said. he noted.

The master of the Kremlin is accompanied by his head of diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov, and his Minister of Defense, Andreï Belooussov.

– “Brothers in Arms” –

This trip to North Korea takes place nine months after Mr. Putin welcomed Kim Jong Un to the Russian Far East, a visit during which the two men showered each other with praise but without concluding, officially at least, any agreements.

According to the West, Pyongyang has drawn on its vast stocks of munitions to massively supply Russia, and the Pentagon last week accused Moscow of using North Korean ballistic missiles in Ukraine.

In return, according to Washington and Seoul, Russia provided North Korea with expertise for its satellite program and sent aid to deal with the country's food shortages.

In March, Russia used its veto at the UN Security Council to end monitoring of international sanctions violations against North Korea, a major gift to Pyongyang.

Putin assures North Korea of ​​his “unwavering support”, border incidents

A South Korean guard post along the border with North Korea, June 11, 2024 © AFP – ANTHONY WALLACE

A few hours before Mr. Putin's scheduled arrival in Pyongyang, incidents broke out at the inter-Korean border. According to the South Korean general staff, “several dozen North Korean soldiers crossed the military demarcation line”, before retreating under warning shots from the South.

This is the second incursion of this type in less than two weeks.

Moreover, still according to the South Korean general staff , several northern soldiers were injured by the explosion of mines they were laying along the border.

– Monitor closely –

South Korea said on Thursday it was “closely monitoring preparations” for Vladimir Putin's visit.

Seoul has provided significant military aid to Ukraine, where South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol visited last month, and is taking part in Western sanctions against Moscow.

Vladimir Putin presents his assault on Ukraine and his diplomatic efforts as a battle to fight American hegemony on the international stage.

It is only of the second visit to North Korea by the Russian leader, who last went there almost a quarter of a century ago, shortly after he came to power, to meet Kim Jong Un's father, Kim Jong-il.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116