Spread the love

Putin in North Korea to strengthen defense ties

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived early Wednesday in North Korea for an exceptional visit to strengthen defense ties between the two countries equipped with nuclear weapons. in the context of the Russian military operation in Ukraine.

According to a document published Tuesday by the Kremlin, Russia plans to sign a “strategic partnership” treaty with North Korea. Moscow and Pyongyang have been allies since the end of the Korean War (1950-1953), but have become closer since the Russian assault on Ukraine began in 2022.

In At night, shortly after the presidential plane landed at Pyongyang airport, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appeared on Russian television greeting Vladimir Putin on a red carpet. Mr. Putin then left the scene aboard a convoy, crossing streets decorated with Russian flags.

Ahead of his trip, Mr. Putin had praised North Korea's “strong support” for the Russian military operation in Ukraine.

Putin in North Korea to strengthen defense ties

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (r) and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Pyongyang, June 19, 2024. © POOL – Gavriil GRIGOROV

“Russia supported (North Korea) and its heroic people in their struggle to defend their right to choose the path of independence, originality and development for themselves in the confrontation with the cunning enemy , dangerous and aggressive (…) 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.

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.

– Western concerns –

This trip to North Korea is taking place new 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.

Putin in North Korea to strengthen defense ties

Ukraine: positions of military forces © AFP – Valentin RAKOVSKY, Sophie RAMIS, Cléa PECULIER

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 exchange, 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 targeting North Korea, a major gift to Pyongyang.

This visit “shows the extent to which President Putin and Moscow are now dependent on authoritarian countries around the world,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg commented on Monday from Washington, stressing that Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, is now “violating sanctions” imposed on North Korea.

Putin in North Korea to strengthen defense ties

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (l) walks with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a welcoming ceremony upon the latter's arrival in Pyongyang, early June 19, 2024 © POOL – Gavriil GRIGOROV

“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… but also because there could be a certain reciprocity that could affect the security of the Korean Peninsula,” said White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kouleba urged the international community to counter the “virile friendship” between Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un by increasing arms deliveries to Kiev.

– “Monitor closely” –

South Korea said on Thursday it was “closely monitoring the 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.

A few hours before Mr. Putin's arrival in Pyongyang, “several dozen North Korean soldiers crossed the military demarcation line”, according to the general staff South Korean, before retreating under warning shots from the South.

According to the same source, this incursion – the second in less than two weeks – was accidental.

This is only the second visit to North Korea by the Russian leader, who last visited nearly a quarter of a century ago, shortly after he came to power, to meet Father by Kim Jong Un, 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