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Ahead of his summit with North Korea’s Kim, Putin promises they’ll overcome sanctions together

by Olena Goncharova June 18, 2024 6:32 AM 2 min read
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends talks between Russia and Belarus at the Kremlin in Moscow on April 6, 2023. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Getty Images)
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Russian leader Vladimir Putin expressed gratitude to North Korea for backing his actions in Ukraine and affirmed that their nations would work closely to counter U.S.-led sanctions, as he traveled to Pyongyang on June 18 for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Putin’s remarks were published in an op-ed in North Korean state media just hours before his anticipated arrival for a two-day visit, according to the Associated Press, signaling a deepening alliance between the two countries as they each face escalating confrontations with Washington.

Putin, making his first visit to North Korea in 24 years, expressed deep appreciation for its steadfast support of his invasion of Ukraine. He said that the countries would continue to "resolutely oppose" Western ambitions "to hinder the establishment of a multipolarized world order based on mutual respect for justice."

Additionally, Putin mentioned that Russia and North Korea would develop unspecified trade and payment systems "that are not controlled by the West" and would jointly oppose sanctions against them, which he labeled as "unilateral and illegal restrictive measures."

North Korea faces stringent economic sanctions from the U.N. Security Council due to its nuclear weapons and missile programs, while Russia is contending with sanctions imposed by the United States and its Western allies over its war in Ukraine.

Putin also announced that the two countries will also expand cooperation in tourism, culture, and education.

His visit takes place amid growing concerns about a potential arms deal in which Pyongyang would supply Moscow with much-needed munitions for Russia's war in Ukraine in exchange for economic aid and technology transfers that could bolster Kim’s nuclear weapons and missile programs.

Since Kim’s visit to the Russian Far East in September for a meeting with Putin, their first since 2019, military, economic, and other exchanges between North Korea and Russia have significantly increased.

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