Russia, North Korea Sign Mutual Military Deal To Assist Each Other If Attacked

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and North Korean president, Kim Jong Un, have finalised a strategic partnership, committing to mutual aid in case of attack during a summit in Pyongyang on Wednesday.

This marks Putin's first visit to North Korea in 24 years, coinciding with heightened tensions with the West.

The summit highlighted concerns over an arms agreement where North Korea supplies crucial munitions to Moscow for its Ukrainian conflict, in exchange for economic aid and technological transfers that could bolster Kim's nuclear capabilities.

Associated Press (AP) reports that the exact nature of this “comprehensive strategic partnership” remains unspecified, encompassing cooperation across politics, economy, culture, and military domains, according to statements following the signing ceremony.

Putin underscored discussions focusing extensively on security and global affairs with Kim, with Russian state media hinting at potential military-technical collaboration under the new agreement.

Kim described the pact as defensive and peaceful, envisioning it as a catalyst for a more balanced global order, reinforcing their alliance in various sectors.

In addition to military aspects, Russia and North Korea signed agreements covering healthcare, medical education, and scientific collaboration, as reported by Russian state media citing the Kremlin's website.

Upon his nocturnal arrival, Putin received a warm welcome from Kim, with both leaders participating in an elaborate ceremony at Pyongyang's main square amidst cheering crowds and festive decorations.

During talks, Putin expressed gratitude for North Korea's support in the Ukraine conflict, framing it as a joint stance against US-led hegemonic policies impacting Russia.

Kim reiterated North Korea's steadfast support, affirming solidarity with Russia in its military operations to safeguard sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The visit comes amidst international sanctions against both nations: North Korea for its weapons programme and Russia for its actions in Ukraine.

Accusations from US and South Korean officials suggest North Korea supplied Russia with military equipment, allegations denied by both Pyongyang and Moscow amid UN sanctions.

Russia, along with China, has shielded Kim from additional UN sanctions over nuclear tests, further complicating regional tensions.

In a diplomatic gesture, Putin and Kim exchanged gifts, with Putin presenting Kim a Russian-made Aurus limousine, while Kim offered artworks depicting the Russian leader.

Following the summit, Kim is set to host a reception, as Putin plans to depart for Vietnam later in the evening.

In Washington, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticised Putin's visit as a move to strengthen relations amidst the Ukraine conflict.

The Institute for National Security Strategy in South Korea predicts talks to expand cooperation in agriculture, fisheries, mining, and tourism between Russia and North Korea amidst heightened regional tensions.

Tensions remain elevated on the Korean Peninsula, with ongoing military exercises and provocations from both sides reminiscent of Cold War-era tactics.

Last updated on July 24th, 2024 at 06:00 am

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