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Putin to visit North Korea soon despite concerns raised by West over alleged arms deal

The North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said Putin reaffirmed his willingness to visit Pyongyang and said that he could come at an “early date.”

Ajeet Kumar Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Moscow Published on: January 21, 2024 12:17 IST
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with Russia's President Vladimir Putin
Image Source : REUTERS/FILE North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with Russia's President Vladimir Putin at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Amur Oblast of the Far East Region.

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin showed his intention to visit Pyongyang soon, North Korea's state-run broadcaster KRT reported on Sunday. Putin also thanked North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for his invitation to visit as he met North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui who visited Russia last week, KRT said. Russia thanked North Korea for its support and solidarity in the Ukraine war, and the two also expressed serious concerns over provocative acts by the United States and its allies against Pyongyang's sovereign rights while agreeing to cooperate in regional affairs, North Korea's state media KCNA reported on Sunday.

The cooperation between Pyongyang and Moscow will be in line with the UN Charter and other international laws, it added. Earlier on Saturday, North Korea said it has agreed to further strategic and tactical cooperation with Russia to establish a “new multi-polarized international order,” as the two countries work to build a united front in the face of their separate, intensifying tensions with the United States.

North Korea boosting ties with Russia 

It is worth mentioning North Korea has been actively strengthening its ties with Russia, highlighted by leader Kim Jong Un’s September visit to Russia for a summit with Putin. Kim is trying to break out of diplomatic isolation and strengthen his footing as he navigates a deepening nuclear standoff with Washington, Seoul and Tokyo. In a separate statement on Sunday, the North’s Foreign Ministry condemned the UN Security Council for calling an emergency meeting over the country’s latest ballistic test, which state media described as a new intermediate-range solid-fuel missile tipped with a hypersonic warhead.

The ministry said the test-firing on January 14 was among the country’s regular activities to improve its defence capabilities and that it didn’t pose a threat to its neighbours. South Korea on Thursday urged the Security Council “to break the silence” over North Korea’s escalating missile tests and threats. Russia and China, both permanent members of the council, have blocked US-led efforts to increase sanctions on North Korea over its recent weapons tests, underscoring a divide deepened over Russia’s war on Ukraine.

The alignment between Pyongyang and Moscow has raised international concerns about alleged arms cooperation, in which the North provides Russia with munitions to help prolong its fighting in Ukraine, possibly in exchange for badly needed economic aid and military assistance to help upgrade Kim’s forces. Both Pyongyang and Russia have denied accusations by Washington and Seoul about North Korean arms transfers to Russia.

(With inputs from agencies)

Also Read: North Korea’s Foreign Minister holds meeting with Lavrov in Moscow amid concerns over alleged arms deal

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