Russia, N Korea to work together to counter Western sanctions: Putin says ahead of Pyongyang visit

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Ahead of his two-day visit to North Korea beginning Tuesday, Russian President Vladamir Putin has said that the two countries will together build the security architecture in Eurasia, counter Western sanctions, and establish independent transaction systems.
Putin said this in his article for North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun, published on the Kremlin website, state news agency TASS reported.
“We are ready to closely work together to bring more democracy and stability to international relations. To do this, 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 wrote.
Putin will be on a state visit, his first visit to North Korea in 24 years, on the invitation by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the country’s state news agency KNCA said.
During his visit, the Russian President is expected to hold talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and discuss military and other cooperation.
The visit follows Kim’s travel to Russia’s Far East in September 2023 for a summit with Putin.
Putin’s visit to North Korea will show Moscow’s desire to conduct equal dialogue and cooperation with all countries, a Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov was cited as telling reporters by the TASS news agency.
“On June 18-19, our President will pay a state visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. This will be the second visit of the Russian head of state to Pyongyang in the entire history of our relations. The program is very intensive,” Ushakov said.
On June 19, both bilateral negotiations and a meeting with leader Kim Jong Un are planned, he said.
“This includes various areas of the economy, energy, transport, agriculture, interregional relations, security issues, issues of cooperation in the international arena, and so on,” the Kremlin aide said.
Meanwhile, Russia and North Korea are looking at organizing direct air service between them, Russian Minister of Natural Resources Alexander Kozlov said according to TASS. The minister said the passenger traffic between the two countries was increasing.
North Korea and the former Soviet Union signed a treaty of friendship and mutual assistance in 1961, when the North’s national founder Kim Il-sung visited Moscow. The deal was scrapped in 1996 after the Soviet Union established diplomatic ties with South Korea in 1990 and collapsed the following year.
In late May, North Korea’s attempt to launch a military spy satellite ended in failure as a satellite-carrying rocket exploded right after liftoff. In November 2023, North Korea successfully placed a spy satellite into orbit, and it has a plan to launch three more such satellites in 2024.
As per a report by Yonhap, the issue of North Korea’s dispatch of its workers abroad could also be discussed in the meeting between Putin and Kim. The report analysed that North Korea has a desperate need to earn foreign currency due to international sanctions, while Russia has been facing a labor shortage amid its war with Ukraine.
Putin, according to an article in TASS, said Russia values the support of North Korea regarding the special military operation in Ukraine.
“We highly appreciate the DPRK’s unwavering support for Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, their solidarity with us on key international matters and willingness to defend our common priorities and views within the United Nations,” Putin said, as per the Russian state media.
Last month, the US imposed sanctions on Russian entities for their involvement in the transfer of military equipment and components between North Korea and Russia amid the ongoing war against Ukraine.
The United States and South Korea have raised concerns that North Korea is supplying Russia with weapons to use in its war in Ukraine in return for technological expertise.

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