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Putin arrives in North Korea for his first visit in 24 years

Putin is scheduled to travel to Hanoi in a display of Communist-governed Vietnam’s ties to Russia that is likely to rankle the United States…reports Asian Lite News

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in North Korea on Wednesday morning (local time) on his first official visit to the East Asian nation in 24 years and is expected to meet with his counterpart Kim Jong Un, CNN reported.

This is a rare overseas trip for Putin since he launched the invasion of Ukraine in 2022, and a key moment for Kim, who has not hosted another world leader in his politically isolated country since the COVID-19 pandemic.

This visit comes after North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un extended an invitation to Putin in September 2023. Putin last visited Pyongyang in July 2000 and this trip is a sign of the two countries’ deepening alignment and Moscow’s need to source weapons from Pyongyang to sustain its war on Ukraine, reported CNN.

Putin’s aide Yuri Ushakov also commented on his trip to North Korea during a press conference Monday and stated that his trip will have an eventful agenda. Both leaders plan to sign a new strategic partnership.

Ushakov insisted the agreement is not provocative or aimed against other countries, but is meant to ensure greater stability in northeast Asia. He said the new agreement will replace documents signed between Moscow and Pyongyang in 1961, 2000 and 2001.

The streets of Pyongyang were decorated with Russian flags and posters of Vladimir Putin ahead of his early Wednesday morning arrival, his first visit to North Korea since 2000.

Putin’s visit will be closely watched across the world and is expected to cement further the burgeoning partnership between the two powers that is founded on their shared animosity toward the West and driven by Moscow’s need for munitions for its war in Ukraine.

Following his visit to North Korea, Putin is scheduled to travel to Hanoi in a display of Communist-governed Vietnam’s ties to Russia that is likely to rankle the United States.

Regarding Putin’s visit US national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Monday the Biden administration wasn’t “concerned about the trip” itself, but added, “What we are concerned about is the deepening relationship between these two countries.”

The US, South Korea and other countries have accused North Korea of providing substantial military aid to Russia’s war effort in recent months, while observers have raised concerns that Moscow may be violating international sanctions to aid Pyongyang’s development of its nascent military satellite program. Both countries have denied arms transfer.

Putin’s trip reciprocates one Kim made last September, when the North Korean leader travelled in his armoured train to Russia’s far eastern region, for a visit that included stops at a factory that produces fighter jets and a rocket-launch facility. (ANI)

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