July 13, 2024

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Bilateral Meeting | Russia and North Korea are fighting together against US hegemony

Bilateral Meeting |  Russia and North Korea are fighting together against US hegemony

(SEOUL) Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia and North Korea are “fighting together” against US hegemony, and he thanked visiting Pyongyang for its support to Moscow over ‘Ukraine’.

“We are grateful to the leaders and people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea regarding the situation in Ukraine. Today we are fighting together against the hegemonic and neo-colonial practices of the United States and its satellites,” he was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

North Korea and Russia signed a mutual defense pact on Wednesday in a “non-aggression” event, announced Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was greeted with great fanfare in Pyongyang and has the full support of his host Kim Jong-un for his war against Ukraine.

“The comprehensive partnership agreement signed today, among other things, provides for mutual assistance in case of aggression against any part of the agreement,” Putin told reporters after signing the document.

“Both Russia and Korea pursue independent foreign policies and do not accept threats and dictates,” he added, in a clear warning to the West.

The Russian president called the agreement a “truly revolutionary document” and said Russia “does not rule out military-technical cooperation” with Pyongyang.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the deal was “exclusively for peace and self-defense”. Mr. Describing Putin as his country’s “best friend”, he welcomed the arrival of a “new era” in relations with Moscow.

“North Korea expresses its full support and solidarity with the Russian government, military and people in taking special military action to protect sovereignty, security interests and territorial integrity in Ukraine,” he told his guest.

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“We greatly appreciate your formal and permanent support for Russian policy, including the Ukrainian issue,” said Mr. Putin replied.

Red carpet and dances

The Russian president was greeted with a red carpet at Kim Il-sung Square, a ceremony complete with a military band and synchronized dancing. He then held talks with the North Korean leader for an hour and a half along with his delegation. He invited Kim Jong-un to Moscow.

Photo by Vladimir Smirnov, Agence France-Presse

Strengthening ties between the two countries has raised concerns in Seoul and Washington.

The US and its allies have accused North Korea of ​​supplying Russia with weapons and missiles for its war on Ukraine, and fear Mr Putin’s visit could lead to further supplies.

This is Vladimir Putin’s first visit to North Korea in 24 years. In September 2023, Kim Jong-un traveled by armored train to the Russian Far East for a summit with the Kremlin leader.

Moscow and Pyongyang were allies at the end of the Korean War (1950-1953), but became closer after the Russian military operation launched in Ukraine in 2022.

“North Korea needs Russia’s support in weapons because of the protracted war in Ukraine, while North Korea needs Russia’s support in food, energy and advanced weapons to ease the pressure of sanctions,” said Go Yu-hwan, professor emeritus of North Korean studies at Dongguk. University, AFP reported.

“The issue of the military alliance should be considered separately from what was publicly announced and actually discussed during the meetings between the existing leaders,” he said, adding that Moscow was cautious and “absolutely does not want to burn bridges with countries like South Korea.

Western concerns

Americans and Europeans have been concerned for months about the rapid rapprochement between Moscow and Pyongyang.

In exchange, according to Washington and Seoul, Russia provided North Korea with expertise for its satellite program and aid to help the country deal with food shortages.

In March, in a major gift to Pyongyang, Russia asked the UN to end its monitoring of violations of international sanctions aimed at North Korea. used its veto in the Security Council. Mr. Putin hit the nail on the head on Wednesday.

Vladimir Putin’s support allows Kim Jong-un to “reduce his dependence” on Beijing, another key ally, Vladimir Tikhonov, a professor of Korean studies at Korea University, told AFP’ Oslo.

Photo by GAVRIIL GRIGOROV, Associated Press

Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un

Meanwhile, he added, the Russian president “gets secure access to the Soviet-style artillery shells that he needs so much today.”

“The state visit is a way for Mr. Putin to thank North Korea for fulfilling the role of ‘arsenal of autocracy’ by supporting its illegal occupation of Ukraine,” said Professor Leif-Erik Eisley of Ewha University in Seoul.