Putin and Kim Jong-un shut a mutual protection settlement: will North Korea ship troopers to Ukraine? | EUROtoday

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After greater than three hours of closed-door assembly, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un have sealed a agency alliance between Russia and North Korea by signing a number of navy, business and technological cooperation agreements. This was confirmed by himself Putin to Russian state media on the conclusion of a gathering in Pyongyang held underneath scrutiny from the West, the place considerations are rising that the North Korean regime will additional gasoline the Russian battle machine in Ukraine with huge shipments of munitions and missiles.

North Korea's dictator described Putin as “the dearest friend of the Korean people.” According to the Russian company Tass, each leaders signed a sort of mutual protection clause, an settlement that gives for “assistance” in case of “aggression” towards both of them. This has triggered the query mark about whether or not, along with weapons, Pyongyang may ship troopers to Ukraine to assist the Russian military. Kim, however, outlined this pact as “peaceful and defensive.”

The streets of Pyongyang They are bathed in Russian flags and huge portraits of Vladimir Putin. “The friendship between North Korea y Russia is eternal,” could be learn on a number of large banners displayed alongside one of many fundamental highways that result in the town the place the Russian president landed final morning (native time). The North Korean chief, Kim Jong-un, obtained him on the foot of the observe with a heat hug. Afterwards, they each headed to the State Guest House of Kumsusan, the residence the place Putin spent the evening. “The two leaders were chatting animatedly, sharing their most intimate thoughts,” reads the word printed by the North Korean media.

Many eyes are targeted this Wednesday on the navy and commerce agreements that Kim and Putin are closing in Pyongyang. Both have been strengthening a relationship for a while, born of strategic comfort: every has one thing that the opposite wants. Russia urgently wants to amass extra ammunition for its battle in Ukraine, particularly high-caliber artillery shells. North Korea begs for overseas foreign money, gasoline and meals for its hungry folks, along with Russian know-how to advance its nuclear race and the event of ballistic missiles and spy satellites.

“We highly appreciate your constant and unwavering support for Russian policy, including towards Ukraine,” Putin stated at the beginning of the talks. According to the Tass company, the North Korean chief responded by displaying his “full support” for Russia's battle in Ukraine, which he referred to, adopting the phrases utilized by the Kremlin, as a “special military operation.”

It was the Russian state media that printed the primary photos of a pompous welcome ceremony with a whole lot of balloons floating over the sq. that bears the title of the founding father of North Korea, Kim Il-sung, grandfather of the present chief. Thousands of North Koreans cheered Putin and raised bouquets of flowers and flags in a choreographed train in adulation, whereas the navy orchestra performed the nationwide anthems of the 2 nations.

Kim Jong-un and Putin surrounded by children in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang.

Kim Jong-un and Putin surrounded by youngsters in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang.Kremlin Pool

In addition to the primary give attention to the protagonists, the cameras additionally captured the presence of essentially the most highly effective girl in North Korea, Kim Yo-jong, sister of the North Korean president. In the Russian delegation, the Minister of Foreign Affairs stood out, Sergey Lavrovwho was already in Pyongyang on the finish of final yr, and the Minister of Defense, Andrei Belousov.

After the welcome ceremony, Kim and Putin climbed right into a convertible Mercedes and, waving to the group, headed to the closed-door assembly the place the 2 are anticipated to seal what the Kremlin has referred to as a “partnership agreement.” strategic”. This includes, as Putin announced on Tuesday, its own network of commercial exchanges and payments that does not go through the West and that helps Moscow evade sanctions.

Putin has received the same warm welcome in Pyongyang as on his last visit 24 years ago. So, he had just become president of Russia. He now arrived after starting his fifth term. That year 2000, it was Kim Jong-il, father of current leader Kim Jong Un, who personally went to look for his illustrious guest at the airport. On that trip, Putin managed to redirect relations that were quite deteriorated. Although the Soviet Union had supported the North Korean regime when the Korean peninsula was divided at the end of the Second World Warfrom Moscow they had been approaching South Korea for years while trying to extend their influence in the region.

In Seoul they closely followed the meeting between Putin and Kim on Wednesday. Days before, the South Korean vice foreign minister, Kim Hong-kyunpicked up the phone to call the US deputy secretary of state, Kurt Campbell, and discuss the meeting in Pyongyang. On Monday, Washington acknowledged that they were concerned about the increasingly close ties between Russia and North Korea.

“Not solely are we involved that the Russian navy is utilizing North Korean ballistic missiles to hit Ukrainian targets, however that there might be some reciprocity that might have an effect on safety on the Korean Peninsula,” National Security Council spokesperson said John Kirby. Washington and Seoul have accused Pyongyang of exporting thousands of containers of weapons to Russia, from artillery to Hwasong-11 class ballistic missiles. The Russian and North Korean governments have denied this.

A month ago, North Korea failed in its latest attempt to launch a new military reconnaissance satellite into orbit. Some analysts said the launch system used featured a variant of the engine used by Russian Angara rockets and was manufactured at a Russian Far East cosmodrome that Kim visited last year.