Russia, North Korea Sign Mutual Assistance Pact

During Russian President Vladimir Putin’s trip to North Korea, he inked a new deal with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un

On the first leg of a trip abroad, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new mutual assistance agreement with the DPRK. Moscow and Pyongyang’s ties have surged after the US attempted to isolate Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

According to the Russian state news agency TASS, Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “signed a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement and several other important documents.” The outlet said the deal goes beyond the military sphere and includes trade and other forms of cooperation between the two neighbors.

While the details of the agreement are not public, Putin explained that it “provides, among other things, for the provision of mutual assistance in the event of aggression against one of the parties to this document.” Kim labeled the deal a “very robust treaty.”

Washington has lashed out against Pyongyang over the past several years, alleging North Korea has supplied munitions to Russia for use in Ukraine. It is unclear if the DPRK will interpret the war in Ukraine as “aggression” that would trigger some form of “mutual assistance.”

North Korea often defines US and South Korean war games on the Korean Peninsula as acts of aggression. Washington and its NATO allies conducted similar drills in Eastern Europe prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Ahead of his arrival in Pyongyang on Tuesday, Putin published an article in a North Korean newspaper thanking the country for its “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 will wrap up his visit in North Korea on Wednesday and head for Vietnam. His international travel is in defiance of Washington’s goal to isolate Moscow on the global stage.

Prior to his arrival in Hanoi, Putin also published an op-ed in Vietnamese media praising the government for its “balanced” and “pragmatic” stance on Ukraine. The Russian president is expected to meet with Vietnamese leaders on Thursday.

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.