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Putin arrives in North Korea to sign strategic partnership agreement

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 18, 2024 9:07 PM 2 min read
Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sept. 13, 2023. (Contributor/Getty Images)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Pyongyang on June 18 for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Putin, making his first visit to North Korea in 24 years, praised the country for backing his full-scale war against Ukraine in an op-ed in North Korean state media ahead of the visit.

With Russia's military stocks running low and domestic production capacity simultaneously hampered by Western sanctions, North Korea has been shaping up to be Russia's leading weapons supplier.

Moscow has reportedly received extensive military packages from Pyongyang, including ballistic missiles and around 5 million artillery shells.

Both Kyiv and Washington have previously said that Russia has been using North Korean-produced missiles to attack Ukraine.

In March, Ukrainian prosecutors reported that Russia had fired around 50 such missiles to attack six Ukrainian oblasts during the full-scale war.

In anticipation of Putin's arrival, his portraits and Russian flags were displayed in the North Korean capital.

The two countries are expected to sign a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement, according to Russia's state-owned news agency TASS.

Putin claimed 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."

Despite the increasingly strong alliance, Putin has not visited North Korea since 2000, when he met with previous North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

Current North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with Putin in Russia in September 2023.

US intelligence officials share evidence that Russia has used North Korean missiles to strike Ukraine
The U.S. Ministry of Defense’s Intelligence Service reported that Russia has used North Korean ballistic missiles to strike Ukraine.

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