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Russia, North Korea deepen cooperation during Putin’s first visit to Korea in 24 years

Amid reports of N.Korea supplying arms to Russia for Ukraine war, the two nations plan to sign strategic partnership treaty. Pentagon voices concern over deepening Russia-N.Korea ties & violation of sanctions.
putin in North Korea june 2024
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in North Korea on 18 June for a state visit, the first in 24 years. Credit: AP
Russia, North Korea deepen cooperation during Putin’s first visit to Korea in 24 years

Russian leader Vladimir Putin is on the second day of his state visit to North Korea, the first by a Russian leader in 24 years.

Putin was greeted there with a crowd and large portraits. He traveled to Pyongyang at the invitation of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un against the backdrop of strengthening relations between the two countries following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Putin’s visit to North Korea lasted two days, from 18 June to 19 June. This is a reciprocal visit following Kim Jong Un’s visit to Russia in the fall of last year.

According to media reports, during the meeting, Putin discussed “a new fundamental document that will form the basis of our relations for the long term.” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the relations between the two countries “are entering a period of new flourishing.”

Russia and North Korea will reportedly sign a strategic partnership treaty during the visit, and Putin will sign the corresponding order.

“Deepening cooperation between Russia and North Korea is something that should be of concern, especially to those interested in maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, as well as supporting the people of Ukraine who continue to fight against Russian aggression,” said Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder.

The visit comes amid reports that North Korea began large-scale supplies of weapons and ammunition to Russia for use in the war against Ukraine in 2023, a violation of international sanctions that Russia is obligated to comply with.

“Of course, you know that North Korea is providing Russia with ammunition and weapons that are helping it continue its illegal and unprovoked war against the Ukrainian people,” Ryder said.

Moscow and Pyongyang have denied the facts of arms supplies.

The US Department of Defense has expressed concern that in response to the arms supplies, Moscow could assist Pyongyang with its missile program. However, Ryder refrained from commenting on the agreements between Russia and North Korea, stating, “We continue to focus on promoting regional security and stability in the region, as well as our extended deterrence efforts when it comes to supporting our allies in South Korea and Japan.”

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