Kim vows 'full support' for Russia's war in Ukraine, strengthening strategic ties

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 19, 2024 IST

KIM -PUTIN

Seoul, June 19 : North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Wednesday expressed "full support" for Russia's war in Ukraine and pledged to strengthen strategic cooperation with Moscow as he held summit talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Pyongyang amid deepening concerns about their military cooperation.  

Kim said relations between the two countries are "entering a new period of prosperity", as he praised Russia's role in the global strategic balance and vowed to "strengthen strategic cooperation" with Moscow, according to the Russian news agency TASS. 

"The government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea expresses its full support and solidarity with the Russian government, Army and people in conducting the special military operation in Ukraine to protect sovereignty, security interests, and territorial integrity," Kim was quoted as saying. 

Putin expressed gratitude to Kim for Pyongyang's support for Moscow's policy on Ukraine and also voiced hope to hold the next summit with Kim in Moscow, TASS reported. 

After the summit, Putin and Kim signed a "comprehensive strategic partnership treaty" to bolster bilateral ties, Russian news reports said, without disclosing details. 

The Russian leader earlier said a new "fundamental document" has been prepared to serve as a basis for relations between the two countries, Yonhap news agency reported. 

The two leaders met again nine months after they held a summit in Russia's Far East last September, as Russia, under international sanctions over its war with Ukraine, has been bolstering military and other cooperation with North Korea. 

Putin arrived in North Korea early Wednesday on his first trip to the reclusive country in 24 years. Ahead of the summit, an official welcoming ceremony was held at Kim Il Sung Square in central Pyongyang. 

Since the Kim-Putin summit last year, the two nations have been bolstering military ties, with the North being accused of supplying Russia with ammunition for use in Moscow's war in Ukraine in exchange for aid and suspected technological assistance for its space program. 

Experts said Putin's trip will likely pave the way for the two countries to deepen military cooperation beyond arms transactions while cementing their solidarity against the United States. 

Analysts said Kim and Putin are expected to adopt a joint declaration that calls for both sides to elevate the level of military, security and economic cooperation but saw a low possibility of them clinching a treaty akin to a military alliance. 

North Korea and the former Soviet Union signed a treaty of friendship and mutual assistance in 1961. The treaty included a provision for so-called automatic military intervention, under which if one side is under an armed attack, the other provides military troops and other aid without hesitation. 

North Korea and Russia signed a new treaty of bilateral ties in 2000, but it did not contain such a provision as it centred on cooperation in the economy, science and culture. 

Experts said North Korea and Russia are expected to highlight cooperation in the economic sector as any arms deals and military cooperation violate United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions banning Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs. 

In an article published on Tuesday by the Rodong Sinmun, the North's main newspaper, Putin vowed to build alternative systems for trade and settlements with North Korea that will not be controlled by the West and jointly resist "illegal and unilateral restrictions" in an apparent reference to international sanctions. 

Experts said Russia is expected to assist North Korea's space development program in exchange for Pyongyang's arms supplies, but it is not likely to transfer sensitive weapons technology to Pyongyang. 

In late May, North Korea's attempt to launch a military spy satellite ended in failure as a satellite-carrying rocket exploded right after liftoff. In November last year, North Korea successfully placed a spy satellite into orbit, and it has a plan to launch three more such satellites in 2024. 

The two leaders could discuss the issue of North Korea's dispatch of its workers at the summit, experts said. The North has a desperate need to earn foreign currency due to international sanctions, while Russia has been facing a labour shortage amid its war with Ukraine. (IANS)

 

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