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North Korean military trainers travel to Russia weeks after signing of partnership agreement

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk July 9, 2024 1:44 PM 2 min read
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (R) attend a welcoming ceremony at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on June 19, 2024. (Gavril Grigorov/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
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A delegation of North Korean military trainers led by the head of a prestigious military academy in Pyongyang has begun a trip to Russia, North Korean state media reported on July 9.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Pyongyang on June 18-19, where he signed a partnership agreement with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The two leaders led hours-long talks before signing the treaty, which pledged to provide aid to one another if either will be attacked.

According to Reuters, the visit of North Korean military trainers marks the first military exchange between Moscow and Pyongyang since the agreement was signed. Pyongyang has long been supplying Moscow with weapons for use against Ukraine.

The delegation of North Korean military trainers is led by the president of the Kim Il Sung Military University, Kim Geum Chol, North Korean state media said, without providing any further information about the visit.

South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol said on June 8 that growing military cooperation between Russia and North Korea poses a "distinct threat and a grave challenge to the peace and security on the Korean peninsula and in Europe."

News emerged at the end of May that France could soon send its military trainers to Ukraine, after Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said that he had already signed documents "that will allow the first French instructors to visit training centers soon."

French President Emmanuel Macron said on June 7 that France wants to finalize a coalition of countries to send military instructors to Ukraine, though U.S. President Joe Biden is reportedly against Macron's proposal.

Russia to send children to North Korean summer camp
According to Gurov, the trip to the North Korean camp is scheduled for late July. Russia will send groups of children who will be accompanied by counselors, he added.

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