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Putin Promises to Beat Sanctions with Kim Before Summit

Putin Promises to Beat Sanctions with Kim Before Summit
Putin Promises to Beat Sanctions with Kim Before Summit

As he prepared for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his gratitude to North Korea for backing his actions in Ukraine and emphasized the importance of close cooperation between their countries to counter U.S.-led sanctions.

In an op-ed published by North Korean state media, Putin underscored the strengthening alliance between Russia and North Korea amid rising tensions with Washington. The North Korean capital marked his arrival with celebratory decorations and banners welcoming the Russian president.

Putin’s visit marks his first trip to North Korea in 24 years. He praised North Korea’s steadfast support for his military initiatives in Ukraine and condemned Western efforts to prevent the establishment of a multipolar world order.

He announced plans to develop independent trade and payment systems with North Korea to resist Western control and to jointly oppose what he termed illegal sanctions. Both Russia and North Korea are facing significant sanctions, with North Korea sanctioned over its nuclear weapons and missile programs and Russia for its actions in Ukraine.

In addition to political and military collaboration, Putin indicated plans to expand cooperation in tourism, culture, and education. Before his visit to North Korea, Putin stopped in Yakutsk, eastern Russia, for meetings with local officials regarding technology and defense projects.

Putin Promises to Beat Sanctions with Kim Before Summit

Putin Promises to Beat Sanctions with Kim Before Summit

Concerns are mounting over a possible arms deal where North Korea supplies Russia with munitions for the Ukraine war in exchange for economic aid and advanced technology for Kim’s nuclear weapons program.

U.S. and South Korean officials have noted a significant increase in military and economic exchanges between Russia and North Korea since Kim and Putin’s September meeting in the Russian Far East.

Allegations from these officials suggest that North Korea is providing Russia with artillery and other military supplies in violation of U.N. sanctions, which both countries deny. Russia, alongside China, has repeatedly blocked U.S.-led initiatives to impose further sanctions on North Korea.

Earlier this year, Russia vetoed the continuation of U.N. sanctions monitoring on North Korea, leading to accusations from the West that Moscow is trying to avoid scrutiny while acquiring weapons from Pyongyang. The U.S. and South Korea are discussing new monitoring mechanisms.

Meanwhile, Putin’s gift of a high-end Aurus Senat limousine to Kim earlier this year, in violation of U.N. resolutions banning luxury item supplies to North Korea, has raised further concerns.

The growing partnership between Russia and North Korea worries U.S. officials, not only for the implications for Ukraine but also for the potential reciprocal impact on security in the Korean Peninsula.

South Korean officials have warned Russia that cooperation with North Korea should not violate U.N. resolutions or threaten regional peace and stability. Rising tensions on the peninsula are marked by increased North Korean weapons tests and military exercises involving the U.S., South Korea, and Japan.

Putin aims to restore Russia’s influence and Soviet-era alliances with his outreach to North Korea. Following his visit to North Korea, Putin will travel to Vietnam for discussions centered on trade, despite U.S. criticism of the visit. The U.S. has cautioned against giving Putin a platform to promote his war in Ukraine and has urged countries not to support his efforts to normalize his actions on the international stage.

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