Putin, Kim Jong Un sign strategic partnership pact

by ian

Russian President Vladimir Putin finished his visit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday. The two were seen doing some friendly activities together – like driving a Russian-made limousine and playing with dogs. But the visit also ended with a signed agreement between the two countries, which has many Western countries worried.

This agreement was described by Kim Jong Un as a “comprehensive strategic partnership” during a rare press conference.

The agreement is vague as far as what is included. We know that the pact requires each nation to use all its available resources to provide immediate military assistance to the other in the instance of war.

At the beginning of their meeting, Putin expressed appreciation to the North Korean government for its “unwavering support” of Russia’s world policy – especially during its war against Ukraine.

Other than that, the terms of the pact are disputed by the leaders. Kim Jong Un claims the agreement amounts to an alliance between Russia and North Korea. Putin, however, was hesitant to officially label it as an alliance.

But still, the pact is significant for Russia because it changes a post-Soviet policy for North Korea. While North Korea and the former Soviet Union had a similar mutual defense pact, signed in 1961, that treaty was thrown out after the Union collapsed.

It was then replaced by another deal in 2000, which offered weaker security assurances. That year also marked the last time that Putin was in North Korea.

But the pact also comes as many in the West are concerned over their emerging partnership. A U.S. State Department spokesperson said that this cooperation,

…is a trend that should be of great concern to anyone interested in maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, upholding the global non-proliferation regime, abiding by UN Security Council resolutions, and supporting the people of Ukraine.