Friday 19th July 2024
Friday 19th July 2024
गृहपृष्ठInternationalNorth Korea, Russia pledge mutual defense, surprising many observers

North Korea, Russia pledge mutual defense, surprising many observers

SOUTH KOREA – North Korea and Russia have signed a treaty containing a mutual defense clause, Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced Wednesday, during a rare Putin visit to Pyongyang.

Following a day of highly publicized events, Putin and Kim signed a “comprehensive strategic partnership agreement,” formally upgrading relations that have expanded since Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

The text of the agreement has not been released. But following the signing, Putin said the deal contains a clause that “provides for the provision of mutual assistance in the event of aggression against one of the parties.”

The move amounts to a significant change of Russian policy toward North Korea, potentially restoring a mutual defense treaty that had been abolished following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Following the signing ceremony, Kim said the relationship has been elevated to the level of an “alliance,” although Putin did not use that phrase in his public comments.

According to a Kremlin readout, Putin noted that Russia “does not rule out the possibility that its cooperation with the DPRK in defense and technology will be developed further,” using an acronym for North Korea’s official name.

The development is sure to rattle Western leaders, who have condemned Russian-North Korean cooperation as a violation of international law. U.S. officials accuse North Korea of supplying Russia with thousands of containers of munitions, including ballistic missiles, for use on the Ukraine battlefield.

The treaty signing surprised many observers, who had predicted that any formalization of the relationship would fall short of a formal alliance.

“Kim Jong Un has been able to extract more concessions than we thought he would be able to from his support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” said Ramon Pacheco Pardo, a Korea specialist and professor of international relations at King’s College London.

The move appears to be an attempt to reanimate Soviet-era relations between Moscow and Pyongyang, although not all analysts are convinced that ties have reached that level.

“Clearly, it’s an important development, but I think we will need to see this relationship continue on a strong footing for a number of years before we can say there has been a definite change in the relationship,” said Pacheco Pardo.

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