Putin And Kim Jong Un Join Forces: What Their Signed Deal Means For The World...

By Alan Hume | Wednesday, 19 June 2024 09:20 PM
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Image Credit : Sky News

In a move that has sent ripples through the international community, Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have inked a new partnership, pledging mutual assistance in the face of potential "aggression."

This development comes as both nations grapple with escalating tensions with the West, as reported by ABC News.

The specifics of the agreement remain unclear, but it could signify the most robust bond between Moscow and Pyongyang since the Cold War's conclusion. Both leaders have hailed the pact as a significant enhancement of their bilateral ties, encompassing security, trade, investment, and cultural and humanitarian aspects.

Putin's visit to North Korea, his first in 24 years, coincides with growing apprehension among the U.S. and its allies over a potential arms deal. This arrangement could see North Korea supplying Moscow with much-needed munitions for its conflict in Ukraine, in return for economic aid and technology transfers that could amplify the threat posed by Kim's nuclear weapons and missile program.

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Kim described the bond between the two nations as a "fiery friendship," and lauded the agreement as the "strongest ever treaty" between them, elevating their relationship to an alliance level. He pledged full backing for Russia's war in Ukraine. Putin, on his part, labeled the pact a "breakthrough document" that mirrors their mutual aspiration to elevate their relations.

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The historical context of this partnership dates back to a 1961 treaty between North Korea and the former Soviet Union, which obligated Moscow's military intervention if the North was attacked. This agreement was abandoned following the USSR's collapse and replaced in 2000 with a pact offering weaker security assurances. It remains uncertain whether the new deal offers a similar level of protection as the 1961 treaty.

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The Russian leader received a grand welcome from Kim, complete with handshakes, hugs, and a limousine ride through the capital's brightly lit streets adorned with giant Russian flags and portraits of Putin. The following day, Putin was greeted in a ceremony at the city's main square, teeming with spectators, including children with balloons and people donning coordinated T-shirts in the national colors of both countries.

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As the discussions commenced, Putin expressed gratitude to Kim for North Korea's support in Ukraine, part of what he termed a "fight against the imperialist hegemonistic policies of the U.S. and its satellites against the Russian Federation." Putin also lauded ties that he traced back to the Soviet army's fight against the Japanese military on the Korean Peninsula at the end of World War II, and Moscow's support for Pyongyang during the Korean War.

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The nature of the support promised in the agreement was not explicitly detailed. However, Kim has consistently voiced North Korea's support for what he perceives as a just action to protect Russia's interests, attributing the crisis to the U.S.-led West's "hegemonic policy."

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Both North Korea and Russia are currently under heavy sanctions, the former due to its weapons program and the latter due to its aggression in Ukraine. U.S. and South Korean officials have accused North Korea of supplying Russia with military equipment for use in Ukraine, possibly in exchange for key military technologies and aid.

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Despite these allegations, which both Pyongyang and Moscow deny, Russia, along with China, has provided political cover for Kim's efforts to advance his nuclear arsenal, repeatedly thwarting U.S.-led attempts to impose fresh U.N. sanctions on the North over its weapons tests.

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In addition to security, Putin stated that the partnership includes cooperation in political, trade, investment, cultural, and humanitarian fields. He added that Russia would not rule out developing military-technical cooperation with North Korea under the deal.

The agreement has been met with criticism from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who said Putin’s visit to North Korea illustrates how Russia tries, “in desperation, to develop and to strengthen relations with countries that can provide it with what it needs to continue the war of aggression that it started against Ukraine.”

The implications of this new partnership are still being analyzed, including potential responses if North Korea comes under attack. Meanwhile, tensions on the Korean Peninsula are at their highest point in years, with both Kim’s weapons tests and combined military exercises involving the U.S., South Korea, and Japan intensifying in a tit-for-tat cycle. This new alliance between Russia and North Korea adds another layer of complexity to an already fraught geopolitical landscape.

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