• Thursday, 25 July 2024

Kim Jong Un Pledges Support for Russia as Putin Visits North Korea

Gulan Media June 19, 2024 News
Kim Jong Un Pledges Support for Russia as Putin Visits North Korea

In a significant display of solidarity, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has pledged "full support and solidarity" for Russia's war in Ukraine during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. Putin, on his first visit to North Korea in 24 years, expressed gratitude for Kim's "unwavering" support against what he described as the "hegemonic and imperialist policy" of the United States and its allies.

The meeting, which took place in Pyongyang, highlights the growing closeness between the two nations amid increasing international scrutiny. Both countries have denied allegations of arms transfers, although concerns persist that North Korea might be providing Russia with weapons in exchange for technological expertise.

In an official welcoming ceremony at Kim Il Sung Square, the two leaders showcased a united front. Rows of soldiers stood at attention, and crowds of children with balloons and flags cheered as Putin and Kim arrived. North Korea’s state news agency KCNA hailed the meeting as a historic event demonstrating the "invincibility and durability" of the friendship between the two countries.

The discussions culminated in the signing of a new comprehensive strategic partnership treaty, described by Putin as a "breakthrough" pact intended to elevate their relations to a "new level." The details of the agreement remain undisclosed, but it replaces earlier bilateral treaties and includes a promise of "mutual assistance" if either country is attacked.

Accompanied by top officials including Defence Minister Andrei Belousov, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Deputy Prime Minister Denis Mantrurov, Putin's visit underscores the deepening military ties between Russia and North Korea. This alliance is particularly contentious given the ongoing conflicts both nations face—Russia with its invasion of Ukraine and North Korea under strict UN sanctions for its nuclear weapons and missile programs.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized the visit, suggesting that Russia is seeking to bolster its relations with countries like North Korea out of desperation to sustain its war effort in Ukraine. He highlighted concerns over North Korea supplying munitions and other weapons to Russia, and echoed NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg's worries about potential Russian support for North Korea's missile and nuclear programs.

In the broader context, tensions on the Korean Peninsula have escalated with increased weapons tests by North Korea and large-scale military exercises in South Korea. A 2018 military agreement between the two Koreas collapsed last year, leading to heightened border defenses and recent incidents of cross-border incursions by North Korean soldiers.

Putin's visit to North Korea is part of a broader tour that includes a stop in Vietnam’s Hanoi. Despite US condemnation, Putin is expected to receive a warm welcome in Vietnam, marking an important diplomatic engagement for the Russian leader.

As the geopolitical landscape continues to shift, the burgeoning alliance between Russia and North Korea signals a significant realignment, potentially impacting international efforts to manage conflicts and maintain stability in the region.