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Russia and North Korea forge alliance, agreeing to mutual defense pact

Russia could be obligated to participate in a war on North Korea’s side in case of a resumption of hostilities between North and South Korea.
south korea condemns russia-north defense pact considers arming ukraine russian president vladimir putin north korean leader kim jong un pyongyang june 2024
Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, June 2024. Photo: RIA Novosti
Russia and North Korea forge alliance, agreeing to mutual defense pact

Following talks in Pyongyang, Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a new strategic partnership agreement. The deal enshrines a mutual defense pact – obligating military assistance if either nation faces aggression. It also enables military cooperation between Moscow and Pyongyang.

North Korea is already supplying the Russian army with artillery shells and missile systems for the war against Ukraine. In return, Moscow is likely assisting Pyongyang with its missile program, which is prohibited by UN Security Council sanctions.

“The comprehensive partnership agreement signed today includes provisions for rendering mutual assistance in case of aggression against either party to this agreement,” Putin said.

The text of the document has not yet been published, but if it involves military assistance, it would mean that Russia would be obligated to participate in a war on North Korea’s side in case of a resumption of hostilities between North and South Korea – a peace treaty has not been signed between them, and an armistice has been in effect since 1953.

Putin arrived in the North Korean capital in the evening of 18 June. He was personally greeted by Kim Jong-un at the airport.

In talks with Putin, Kim stated that the North Korean government “expresses full support and solidarity with the Russian government, army and people in carrying out the special military operation”, referring to the war in Ukraine. He also called Putin the “dearest friend of the Korean people”. According to Kim, relations between Russia and North Korea have now become “allied”.

In his speech, Putin criticized the United States and again praised Pyongyang for supporting Russia in the war in Ukraine. Putin wrote about this as well in an article published before his visit in a North Korean newspaper.

The US and Western countries are expressing increasing concern over the cooperation between Moscow and Pyongyang.

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