Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Vladimir Putin meets Kim Jong Un on his first visit to North Korea in 24 years

Vladimir Putin meets Kim Jong Un on his first visit to North KoreaVladimir Putin meets Kim Jong Un

Vladimir Putin: Both leaders clasped hands and embraced, and Kim subsequently joined Putin in his car to personally drive him to Pyongyang’s Kumsusan State Guest House, according to North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency.

In short

  • Putin travels to Pyongyang for the first time in 24 years.
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met Putin at the airport in Pyongyang.
  • Before his arrival, Putin congratulated North Korea for supporting his invasion of Ukraine, according to official media.

After stating that the two nations aim to work closely together to overcome U.S.-led sanctions in the face of escalating tensions with Washington, Russian President Vladimir Putin left Russia early on Wednesday and landed in North Korea.

Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, greeted Putin at the airport in Pyongyang. After exchanging handshakes and embraces, Kim drove Putin to Pyongyang’s Kumsusan State Guest House, according to North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency. The organization characterized their encounter as a historic occasion that proves the closeness and solidarity of the two countries’ invincibility and durability.

In his first visit to North Korea in 24 years, Putin expressed appreciation for the country’s steadfast support of his military operations in Ukraine. His remarks were reported in North Korean state media just hours before his arrival. The Kremlin initiated a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

He declared that both countries would steadfastly resist Western efforts aimed at obstructing the creation of a multipolar world order founded on justice, mutual respect for sovereignty, and the consideration of each other’s interests.

Concerns over a possible arms deal, in which Pyongyang gives Moscow much-needed ammunition for Russia’s conflict in Ukraine in exchange for financial assistance and technological transfers that would increase the threat posed by Kim’s nuclear weapons and missile programs, are growing as Putin makes his visit.

In Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, streets were adorned with portraits of Putin and Russian flags. We cordially welcome the President of the Russian Federation, said a banner above a structure.

In his published remarks, Putin stated that Russia and North Korea would develop trade and payment systems that are not controlled by the West and jointly oppose sanctions, which he described as illegal, unilateral restrictions.

North Korea faces extensive U.N. Security Council economic sanctions due to its nuclear weapons and missile programs, while Russia is also contending with sanctions imposed by the United States and its Western allies over its aggression in Ukraine.

Putin mentioned that the countries will also expand cooperation in tourism, culture, and education.

Before his trip to North Korea, Putin visited Yakutsk, a city in eastern Russia, where he met with regional Governor Aisen Nikolayev and received briefings on technology and defense-related projects. He also engaged with young professionals working in Russia’s Far East.

Putin is accompanied by several top officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Denis Mantrurov, Defense Minister Andrei Belousov, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, as stated by his foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov. He indicated that many documents would be signed during the visit, possibly including an agreement on a comprehensive strategic partnership.

U.S. and South Korean officials report that military, economic, and other exchanges between North Korea and Russia have significantly increased since Kim met with Putin in the Russian Far East in September, their first meeting since 2019.

U.S. and South Korean officials accuse North Korea of supplying Russia with artillery, missiles, and other military equipment for use in Ukraine, potentially in exchange for crucial military technologies and aid. Both Pyongyang and Moscow deny these accusations, which would violate multiple U.N. Security Council sanctions previously endorsed by Russia.

Along with China, Russia has supported Kim’s continued efforts to expand his nuclear arsenal politically by continuously impeding attempts by the United States to lead the UN to impose fresh sanctions on North Korea for its weapons testing.

In March, a Russian veto at the United Nations ended the monitoring of U.N. sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear program, leading to Western accusations that Moscow is seeking to avoid scrutiny while purchasing weapons from Pyongyang for use in Ukraine. U.S. and South Korean officials have indicated they are exploring options for a new mechanism to monitor North Korea.

Putin sent Kim an opulent Aurus Senat limousine earlier this year, which he had shown the North Korean leader when they met in September. The consignment, according to observers, violated a United Nations resolution that forbids the transfer of upscale goods to North Korea.

In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken remarked that Putin’s visit to North Korea demonstrates Russia’s efforts, out of desperation, to build and strengthen ties with nations capable of supplying resources necessary to sustain its ongoing aggression in Ukraine.

Blinken stated that North Korea is supplying significant munitions to Russia, along with other weaponry used in Ukraine. Iran has also provided weaponry, including drones, used against civilians and infrastructure,” during a press briefing following a meeting with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday.  -Vladimir Putin

Stoltenberg reiterated concerns about potential Russian support for North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs.

Lim Soosuk, spokesperson for South Korea’s Foreign Ministry, emphasized that Seoul has consistently reminded Moscow that any collaboration between Russia and North Korea must not violate U.N. Security Council resolutions or destabilize regional peace and stability.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have reached their highest levels in years, marked by intensified weapons tests by Kim and joint military exercises involving the United States, South Korea, and Japan in a cycle of escalating actions. The Koreas have also engaged in Cold War-era psychological operations, including North Korea dropping balloons carrying tons of trash into South Korea, and South Korea broadcasting anti-North Korean propaganda through loudspeakers. -Vladimir Putin

South Korea’s military reported that its soldiers fired warning shots to deter North Korean soldiers who mistakenly crossed the land border on Tuesday, marking the second such incident this month.

Putin has consistently pursued efforts to restore Russia’s influence and revive Soviet-era alliances, including rebuilding ties with Pyongyang. Relations between Moscow and North Korea had weakened following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Kim Jong Un first met Putin in 2019 in Vladivostok, a port city in Russia’s Far East.

Following his visit to North Korea, the Kremlin announced that Vladimir Putin will travel to Vietnam for talks expected to focus on trade. The United States, which has been strengthening ties and increasing trade with Vietnam for years, criticized Putin’s upcoming visit.

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As Russia continues seeking international support to sustain its illegal and brutal war against Ukraine, we emphasize that no country should provide Putin a platform to promote his aggressive war or allow him to normalize his heinous actions,” stated a spokesperson from the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam.

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