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Putin’s state visit to North Korea: Warm welcome, bilateral agreements and a new comprehensive partnership treaty

Moscow and Pyongyang have agreed to enhance cooperation in all spheres and defend each other from potential foreign aggression

Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a state visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on Wednesday, where he met with the country’s leader Kim Jong-un and participated in comprehensive bilateral talks on economic, security, and global issues.

The trip marked the first time the Russian president had traveled to North Korea since first taking office in 2000, when he visited Pyongyang to meet with then-leader Kim Jong-il.

Putin’s delegation included Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Defense Minister Andrey Belousov, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko, Transport Minister Roman Starovoyt, and several other senior officials, including Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov and Putin’s foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov.

Grand reception in Pyongyang

Putin touched down in the North Korean capital in the early hours of Wednesday and was greeted by Kim Jong-un at the airport. Ahead of his arrival, the streets of Pyongyang were decked out with countless Russian flags, alternating with DPRK flags. Multiple banners were also placed along the route of the presidential motorcade, featuring greetings in Russian and Korean, and portraits of the Russian head of state.

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A ceremony was also held in honor of Putin’s arrival on Kim Il Sung Square in central Pyongyang. The event featured a performance by a DPRK military orchestra, as hundreds of residents packed the square for the occasion.

Aside from formal negotiations and signing official documents, Putin exchanged gifts with Kim, attended a gala concert, laid flowers at a monument to Soviet soldiers who helped liberate Korea from Japan during World War II, and took part in a reception in honor of the Russian delegation’s visit.

Negotiations

Talks between Kim Jong-un and Putin, which involved the countries’ delegations, lasted for an hour and a half, and were followed by a one-on-one discussion between the two leaders.

During the meeting, both sides expressed appreciation for each other’s support. The Russian leader noted that relations between the two nations are rooted in history, and based on the principles of “equality and mutual respect of each other’s interests.”

Kim stated that North Korea sees Russia as “the most honest friend and comrade” and noted Russia’s mission and role in “upholding strategic stability and balance in the world.” He also expressed Pyongyang’s support for Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.

Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Treaty

Following the bilateral negotiations, Putin and Kim signed a Treaty on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, designed to “lay the groundwork” for future bilateral relations in all spheres, including cultural and tourist ties, trade, economic relations and security.

The agreement also includes a pledge by Russia and the DPRK to assist each other in case of foreign aggression, as both leaders decried attempts by the US and its satellites to destabilize the situation in Southeast Asia.

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Putin emphasized Pyongyang’s right to take “reasonable steps” to ensure its security and protect its sovereignty, and vowed to engage in political and diplomatic efforts to prevent a new armed conflict on the Korean peninsula.

He also denounced the “indefinite restrictions regime” imposed on Pyongyang by the UN Security Council and urged for it to be revised.

Kim described the new agreement as a “peaceful and defensive” document that “provides for maintaining peace and stability in the region.” He added that the treaty promotes the common interests of Russia and the DPRK, and expressed confidence that it would become “a driving force in accelerating the creation of a new multipolar world.”

Following his official visit, Putin formally invited Kim to make a return visit to Moscow at some point in the future, and thanked the residents of Pyongyang for the warm welcome.

June 19, 2024 at 10:28PM
RT

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