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Russia's Putin arrives in North Korea for 1st visit in 24 years, focus on strategic partnership treaty (WATCH)

In a highly anticipated visit, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Tuesday for a two-day summit, marking his first visit to the country in 24 years.

Russia Vladimir Putin arrives in North Korea for 1st visit in 24 years, focus on strategic partnership treaty (WATCH) snt
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First Published Jun 18, 2024, 1:54 PM IST

In a highly anticipated visit, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Tuesday for a two-day summit, marking his first visit to the country in 24 years. Ahead of his arrival, Putin reportedly promised to “resolutely oppose” Western interests and combat sanctions placed on Russia and North Korea.

According to reports quoting a close Kremlin aide, Russia and North Korea are likely to sign multiple "significant documents," potentially including a strategic partnership treaty.

“Several documents will be signed”, among which will be “important, highly significant documents”, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov was quoted as saying by state-run Russian news agencies.

This may include a “comprehensive strategic partnership treaty” which will outline future co-operation and deal with “security issues”, he was quoted as saying.

Putin and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un are scheduled to address the media during the visit.

Since September 2023, the strategic alliance between the two nations has strengthened following Kim Jong Un's visit to Russia. Allegations from the South Korean government suggest that Pyongyang is exporting weaponry to Moscow for deployment in Ukraine, while also receiving satellite technology from Russia.

The Pentagon has indicated through debris analysis that Russia has utilized North Korean ballistic missiles in Ukraine. US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller asserted that North Korea had provided "dozens of ballistic missiles and more than 11,000 containers of ammunition to Russia" for operations in Ukraine. However, both Russia and North Korea have denied these accusations, as reported by the news agency AP.

Tuesday's visit marks Putin’s first to North Korea since 2000, following Kim’s rare foreign trip to Russia's Far East nine months ago.

Since launching the Ukraine offensive, Putin has reduced his international travel but has made prominent visits to key allies like China and Iran, as Moscow seeks a united stance against Western nations.

Ahead of his visit, Putin penned an opinion piece in the North Korean state-owned newspaper Rodong Sinmun, expressing gratitude to Kim Jong Un for his support during the Russia-Ukraine conflict. He pledged joint efforts to counter Western interests aimed at obstructing a "multi-polar world order."

John Kirby, a US National Security Council spokesperson, said the growing relationship between the two countries is worrying, “not just because of the impacts it's going to have on the Ukrainian people, because we know North Korean ballistic missiles are still being used to hit Ukrainian targets, but because there could be some reciprocity here that could affect security on the Korean Peninsula”.

Both North Korea and Moscow currently face UN sanctions—North Korea for its prohibited nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and Russia for its involvement in the Ukraine invasion. In a statement to North Korean media, Putin emphasized their joint opposition to what he called "unilateral and illegal restrictive measures."

In addition to military and economic exchanges, the two leaders will also discuss collaboration in tourism, culture, and education. According to the Russian Minister of Natural Resources, Moscow and Pyongyang are planning to establish a direct air service to accommodate increasing travel between the two countries, as reported by TASS news agency.

Following his visit to Pyongyang, Putin intends to travel to Vietnam for a two-day discussion on trade. This move has drawn criticism from the US, which views it as endorsing Russia amidst its ongoing conflict with Ukraine.

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