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Putin to Visit North Korea for First Time in Over 20 Years Amid Growing Russia-North Korea Alliance

Putin to Visit North Korea for First Time in Over 20 Years Amid Growing Russia-North Korea Alliance
Putin to Visit North Korea for First Time in Over 20 Years Amid Growing Russia-North Korea Alliance

Vladimir Putin will visit North Korea for two days starting Tuesday, his first visit there in over 20 years. This rare trip, since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, is important for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who hasn’t hosted a world leader in Pyongyang since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The visit shows a growing partnership between Russia and North Korea, united by their dislike of the West and Putin’s need for support in his war in Ukraine.

Following his North Korea visit, Putin will head to Hanoi for another two-day trip, highlighting Vietnam’s Communist government’s ties to Russia, a move likely to unsettle the United States.

The US and its allies have accused North Korea of providing substantial military aid to Russia’s war efforts, while there are concerns that Russia might be violating international sanctions to assist North Korea’s military satellite program. Both nations have denied these allegations. This visit reciprocates Kim Jong Un’s trip to Russia last September, where he visited a fighter jet factory and a rocket-launch facility.

Putin to Visit North Korea for First Time in Over 20 Years Amid Growing Russia-North Korea Alliance

Putin to Visit North Korea for First Time in Over 20 Years Amid Growing Russia-North Korea Alliance

Kim Jong Un recently emphasized the strong ties and comradeship between North Korea and Russia in a message to Putin. Russia aims to build a comprehensive partnership with North Korea across various fields.

The timing of this meeting is notable as it follows a Group of Seven (G7) summit in Italy, attended by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, where Western leaders reiterated their support for Ukraine. It also follows an international peace summit in Kyiv aimed at garnering support for Zelensky’s peace vision, which includes a complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.

Putin’s visit to North Korea is seen as an attempt to secure further support from Kim for his war efforts, particularly as American military aid for Ukraine becomes more significant. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin highlighted that North Korean munitions and Iranian drones have been crucial in aiding Russian forces.

South Korea reported significant shipments of North Korean artillery shells to Russia, although both Moscow and Pyongyang have denied such arms transfers. Concerns about Russia potentially transferring sensitive technologies to North Korea have been downplayed by the Kremlin, emphasizing the profound potential for bilateral relations.

Putin’s visit to North Korea comes as he seeks to reassert himself on the global stage and counter the image of isolation resulting from the invasion of Ukraine. This follows a recent state visit to Beijing and a BRICS meeting in Moscow, indicating a strategic effort to solidify ties with like-minded nations.

Strengthening relations with North Korea also benefits Kim Jong Un, providing him with a significant diplomatic endorsement amid international sanctions over his nuclear weapons program. This visit signals to Kim’s domestic audience his global relevance and offers an opportunity to secure vital economic and technological support from Russia.

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