Russian dictator Vladimir Putin announced his willingness to visit Pyongyang in the near future during a visit with North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui in Russia last week, North Korea's state news agency, KCNA, reported on Jan. 21.
Putin also reportedly thanked the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for his invitation to visit the country and his continued support of Russian military efforts in Ukraine.
According to Reuters, KCNA's Korean-language report suggested Putin planned to visit soon, but its later English report said he was "willing" to do so at an early date. An exact date for the visit has not been established.
Moscow and Pyongyang have significantly increased their military ties since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Russia's newfound pariah status that followed the outbreak of full-scale war has forced the country to seek new allies, and as a major producer of military hardware and a similarly isolated country, North Korea has allegedly used the partnership to further its own military goals.
The nature of the relationship is increasingly becoming a two-way street, said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in which Russia provides North Korea with advanced military technology and long-range attack capacity, potentially including ballistic missiles and nuclear capabilities in exchange for the shells and missiles.
In the short term, this cooperation has already been felt in Ukraine, where Russia has allegedly used North Korean-supplied ballistic missiles in attacks on the country.