Putin Visits North Korea To Discuss Security Pact

Moscow and Pyongyang are expected to ink multiple agreements during Putin’s two-day trip

Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to North Korea for his first state visit to that country in more than 20 years. The two sides will hold talks covering a new “comprehensive” security deal, closer trade ties, and other “sensitive” issues, according to the Kremlin.

Putin touched down in Pyongyang early on Tuesday, greeted by a delegation headed by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He will remain in the country for two days, during which he will hold marathon meetings with Kim and other senior officials.

Ahead of his visit, Putin published an article in North Korea’s state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper, vowing to boost cooperation across several areas while hailing the DPRK’s “strong support” for the Russian war effort in Ukraine.

“We are also ready for close cooperation to make international relations more democratic and stable,” he wrote. “To do this, we will develop alternative mechanisms of trade and mutual settlements that are not controlled by the West, and jointly resist illegitimate unilateral restrictions. And at the same time – to build an architecture of equal and indivisible security in Eurasia.”

Putin went on to condemn the United States as a “global neo-colonial dictatorship based on double standards,” adding that Washington views “a natural and legitimate desire for independence and autonomy as a threat to its dominance in the world.”

According to Putin’s foreign policy aide, Yuri Ushakov, the two heads of state will discuss “the most important, the most sensitive issues” during the visit, including a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement” previously announced by the Kremlin.

While the details of the pact are not yet public, the deal will override several prior security arrangements dating back to the Soviet era, Ushakov added. He also noted the deal “will not be confrontational and directed against any countries, but will be aimed at ensuring greater stability in the North-East Asia region.” Russian media indicated that other “joint documents” would be signed while Putin is in the country but offered few details.

US officials have repeatedly accused Pyongyang of supplying missiles and artillery shells to Russian forces fighting in Ukraine. Though the two sides deny such arms transfers, leaders with the G7 recently slammed “increasing military cooperation” between Russia and North Korea, warning that it violates UN sanctions on the DPRK.

Putin’s trip to North Korea marks his first official visit since 2000 and comes after Kim traveled to Russia’s Far East late last year. Following that exchange, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declared that bilateral ties had reached a “strategic level,” and the Kremlin has since vowed even closer cooperation.

Will Porter is assistant news editor at the Libertarian Institute and a regular contributor at Antiwar.com. Find more of his work at Consortium News and ZeroHedge.