Russia’s Vladimir Putin arrives in North Korea amid anti-west rhetoric | EUROtoday

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SEOUL — North Korean chief Kim Jong Un “warmly” embraced Russian President Vladimir Putin upon his arrival in Pyongyang early Wednesday morning and the 2 leaders shared their “pent-up inmost thoughts,” in response to North Korean state media, setting the tone for a visit by which the outcast leaders of two heavily-sanctioned states will current a united entrance in opposition to the west.

Before his arrival, his first journey to North Korea in practically a quarter-century, Putin thanked Kim for “firmly supporting” his struggle in opposition to Ukraine, fueling issues the 2 leaders will use this go to to deepen their navy partnership within the face of Western efforts to isolate them.

Washington and its allies have raised issues in regards to the rising navy cooperation between the 2 states at a time when Moscow is hungry for munitions to make use of in its struggle in opposition to Ukraine. North Korea is believed to have a big stockpile of dated artillery shells and rockets that will be suitable with Soviet and Russian weapons programs utilized in Ukraine.

The State Department on Tuesday stated North Korea had “unlawfully transfer[ed] dozens of ballistic missiles and over 11,000 containers of munitions to aid Russia’s war effort” in current months.


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The journey highlights how dependent Putin has change into on Kim as he shuns the West and seeks companions to help his struggle in Ukraine, stated Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia.

“I think the fact that Putin has to come all the way to North Korea to pay his respects underscores how desperate he is for the ammunition he needs from North Korea,” McFaul stated. “That is a giant reversal from 10 to 20 years ago when Putin was the powerful one. Now he needs weapons, and he needs Kim Jong Un, and he needs weapons for his war in Ukraine.”

As Putin stepped off his airplane onto a pink carpet, Kim greeted him with a handshake and a hug, in response to footage captured by Russian media. The streets of Pyongyang have been lined with Russian flags and banners welcoming Putin, Russian media movies present. Kim rode in his personal automotive with Putin to the Kumsusan State guesthouse, the place the Russian chief will keep, North Korean state media stated.

Putin arrived with a big delegation of high authorities officers, together with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, First Deputy Prime Minister Denis Mantrov, Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Nobak and Minister of Defense Andrei Beloussov, in response to North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency.

North Korea is scheduled to host a welcome ceremony Wednesday afternoon. Then the 2 leaders can have a “tete-a-tete during a stroll about the North Korean leader’s residence and a tea party,” Russia’s Tass information company reported.

The two-day summit program might be “very intensive,” Yuri Ushakov, high overseas coverage adviser to Putin, advised state media on Monday. The two leaders are anticipated to carry conferences Wednesday on methods to strengthen their strategic cooperation on a spread of points, together with safety issues, in response to Russian state media.

The two leaders are prone to deepen their efforts to counter U.S.-led sanctions and isolation of Putin over his invasion of Ukraine and Kim over his pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Putin made a nod to such efforts in an article printed Tuesday in KCNA: “We will develop alternative trade and mutual settlements mechanisms not controlled by the West, jointly oppose illegitimate unilateral restrictions, and shape the architecture of equal and indivisible security in Eurasia.”

Putin’s journey reciprocates Kim’s go to to Russia’s Far East in September, when the North Korean chief known as his nation’s relations with Russia his high precedence and pledged help for Moscow’s “sacred struggle” in opposition to Ukraine.

McFaul stated Putin’s pivot to change into nearer with Kim displays the Russian chief’s shift in how he views Russia’s function in reining in North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic ambitions.

“Earlier in his career, he still wanted to be a part of the international community of states … with regards to proliferation, that put Russia on our side when it came to North Korea,” he stated. “That’s completely changed now. I think Putin has just decided he’s done being a stakeholder in the international community. … I think as long as he’s the leader of Russia, Russia has pivoted.”

The White House has repeatedly accused North Korea of sending “equipment and munitions” to Russia to replenish its dwindling provides for the struggle in Ukraine, together with ballistic missiles with a spread of roughly 550 miles and missile launchers.

In addition, North Korea has a manufacturing capability that will assist Russia preserve its excessive ammunition burn fee because the Kremlin seeks to scale up home manufacturing.

These dynamics have given Kim a uncommon bargaining chip. It’s a reversal of their relationship, given North Korea’s historical past of navy dependence on the Soviet Union, together with in its Soviet-supported invasion of the South that sparked the 1950-1953 Korean War.

“This summit serves as both a testament to the current strength of the relationship between the two countries and a harbinger of an even stronger partnership in the future,” stated Lami Kim, professor at Daniel Okay. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu.

Kim added that the 2 leaders’ financial and navy cooperation “will further undermine the effectiveness of sanctions against North Korea, enhance North Korea’s military capabilities, and elevate Kim Jong Un’s legitimacy to rule internally.”

The go to may even spotlight the longevity of autocratic management in each international locations: Putin final visited North Korea 24 years in the past, quickly after he grew to become president for the primary time, when the nation was led by Kim Jong Il, the present chief’s father.

Their assembly has highlighted how China may reply to warming relations between Pyongyang and Moscow — what China would possibly search to achieve from it or what it will do to do deter it. Chinese chief Xi Jinping stands with Putin and Kim of their goal of reshaping world energy and ending the dominance of the United States in world affairs. But China doesn’t need to see North Korea emboldened in its nuclear ambitions.

When Xi and Putin met in China in May, the 2 leaders agreed to carry “constructive dialogue” with North Korea on permitting Chinese vessels to navigate from the Tumen River to the Sea of Japan, or the East Sea, in response to their joint assertion.

Putin’s journey to Pyongyang, China hopes, may pace up discussions on this regard and pave means for trilateral improvement of the area, stated Ba Dianjun, a professor of Northeast Asian Research Center at Jilin University.

“China raised the issue before, but it didn’t work out because our economies were developing at an uneven pace,” Ba stated, explaining that Russia was involved about this entry giving China an excessive amount of management in Northeast Asia whereas North Korea discovered it extra worthwhile to lease port services to China. Ba’s views echo Chinese state media speaking factors.

“The world looks vastly different now, and we have restarted the efforts and are on the right track,” Ba stated, pointing to a renewed curiosity in doubling down on regional financial cooperation as China, North Korea and Russia are all coping with respective financial woes.

Lyric Li in Seoul contributed to this report.