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Russia’s Putin solidifies alliance with N. Korea against Western sanctions

Russia's Putin solidifies alliance with N. Korea against Western sanctions Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) with N. Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, examining launch pad of Soyuz rockets during a meeting at the Vostochny, Tsiolkovsky, Russia, September 13, 2023. (AP Photo)
By Associated Press
Jun 18, 2024 4:08 PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed gratitude to North Korea for supporting his actions in Ukraine and announced plans for close cooperation to counter U.S.-led sanctions. These statements came in an op-ed in North Korean state media, just hours before Putin’s arrival in Pyongyang for a two-day summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Streets adorned with Putin portraits

In Pyongyang, the streets were adorned with portraits of Putin and Russian flags, welcoming his first visit to North Korea in 24 years. Putin appreciated North Korea’s firm backing of his military campaign in Ukraine and emphasized their joint opposition to Western attempts to block the establishment of a multipolar world order.

Putin’s comments come amidst deepening ties between the two nations, each facing increasing confrontations with Washington. He highlighted plans for Russia and North Korea to develop trade and payment systems independent of Western control and to resist what he termed “illegal, unilateral restrictions.”

Western sanctions

Both countries are heavily sanctioned: North Korea for its nuclear weapons and missile programs, and Russia for its aggression in Ukraine. Putin also mentioned potential expansions in cooperation in tourism, culture, and education.

Before heading to Pyongyang, Putin visited Yakutsk in eastern Russia, meeting with regional officials and receiving updates on technology and defense projects. His visit to North Korea comes amid concerns about a potential arms deal, where Pyongyang could supply Moscow with munitions in exchange for economic aid and technology transfers, enhancing North Korea’s nuclear capabilities.

U.S. and South Korean officials have accused North Korea of providing military equipment to Russia, allegations both nations deny. Russia has historically blocked U.N. efforts to impose further sanctions on North Korea for its weapons tests.

Additionally, Putin’s visit to Vietnam, planned for the following days, has drawn criticism from the United States, which emphasized that no country should support Putin’s efforts in Ukraine or provide a platform for his war of aggression.

This visit underscores the growing alignment between Russia and North Korea and their shared resistance to U.S.-led sanctions and geopolitical pressure, amidst a backdrop of heightened global tensions and conflicts.

Last Updated:  Jun 18, 2024 5:00 PM