Vladimir Putin thanks North Korea for support

Vladimir Putin thanks North Korea for support
Vladimir Putin thanks North Korea for support

Russian President Vladimir Putin is travelling to North Korea to pay his respects to head of state Kim Jong Un. Although some may mock the “lonely bromance”, the meeting is being watched with some concern in the West.

Ahead of his visit to North Korea, Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked Pyongyang for its support of the Russian offensive in Ukraine. “We greatly appreciate the resolute support of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) for the special military operation in Ukraine,” Putin wrote on Tuesday in an op-ed published by the North Korean state news agency KCNA and the newspaper Rodong Sinmun. Meanwhile, the US expressed concern about the close ties between Moscow and Pyongyang.

According to the Kremlin, Putin will arrive in North Korea on Tuesday evening for his visit. It is Putin’s second visit to the country during his time as head of state. Shortly after taking office as president, the Kremlin chief met Kim Jong Un’s father Kim Jong Il in 2000.

The trip will “raise bilateral cooperation to a higher level” and contribute to the “development of mutual and equal cooperation” between Russia and North Korea, Putin wrote, according to KCNA. Both countries are “actively developing the multifaceted partnership”.

Vladimir Putin praises North Korea’s spirit of resistance

In the article, the Kremlin chief praised North Korea for defending its interests “despite decades of economic pressure, provocation, blackmail and military threats from the United States.” He also emphasized that Moscow and Pyongyang maintained their “common line and common position” at the UN.

The isolated North Korea rarely receives diplomatic visitors. Pyongyang is accused of supporting Russia in its military offensive in Ukraine by supplying weapons. Putin is currently trying to obtain additional ammunition. According to the Kremlin, the Russian president’s visit is taking place at the invitation of North Korean leader Kim.

During Putin’s visit, several “important documents” are to be signed, including a possible agreement on a “strategic partnership,” Russian news agencies reported, citing a Kremlin official.

The US expressed “concern” about the emerging deepening of relations between North Korea and Russia and its potential impact on the security of Ukraine and South Korea. “We know that North Korean ballistic missiles are still being used to strike Ukrainian targets,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said in Washington on Monday. This could “create a certain level of interaction that could affect security on the Korean peninsula.”

Ukraine Foreign Minister Kuleba mocks “lonely bromance”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba described the trip as a “lonely bromance” between Putin and North Korean leader Kim. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the visit showed how dependent Putin was on authoritarian leaders.

Asia expert Patrick Cronin of the Hudson Institute in Washington told the South Korean news agency Yonhap that Putin and Kim are two leaders “with weak economies who are basking in the spotlight as leaders in order to share military technology and undermine the US-led order.”

Since the beginning of the offensive in Ukraine, Putin has drastically reduced his foreign travel. Russia is facing numerous international sanctions and the Kremlin chief has become persona non grata in most Western countries; the International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for him.

Following his stay in North Korea, Putin will travel to Vietnam for a two-day visit, according to the Kremlin.

Source: Stern

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