North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, Russia’s Vladimir Putin sign mutual defense treaty
06/21/2024 // Richard Brown // Views

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un have signed a pact pledging mutual defense in case either country is attacked. The agreement was formalized during a summit in Pyongyang, marking a rare visit by Putin to the reclusive, nuclear-armed state as both nations face increasing confrontations with the West.

In a press conference following the summit, Putin described the treaty as "a truly breakthrough document," emphasizing the shared intent to elevate bilateral relations across security, trade, investment and cultural and humanitarian sectors. Kim characterized the pact as a peaceful agreement that formalizes an alliance between the two countries.

The comprehensive strategic partnership may facilitate the transfer of military technology to Pyongyang in exchange for munitions that Russia needs for its war in Ukraine.

U.S. officials have warned that such exchanges could significantly bolster North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, posing a threat to the Asia-Pacific region.

Kim, who has been ramping up weapons testing and heightening tensions with Western-friendly South Korea, pledged his "full support" for Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine during the summit. (Related: South Korea preparing to swiftly eliminate Kim Jong Un and other top Pyongyang officials in the event of an all-out war.)

Putin's visit, his first to North Korea in 24 years, came as Kremlin forces seek breakthroughs in Ukraine's east and north, while Kyiv's defenses are strengthened by new commitments from its allies. Putin arrived at midday for a welcome ceremony at Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square, named after Kim's grandfather, North Korea's founder.

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Amid a crowd of cheering civilians, Putin and Kim greeted officials on a red carpet outside the square’s main building, beneath portraits of themselves.

Military bands played the national anthems of both countries, and children waved balloons and flags. The leaders then proceeded to the Kumsusan Palace for summit talks.

Delegation discussions lasted about an hour and a half, followed by two hours of one-on-one talks between Kim and Putin, according to Russian state media.

The leaders exchanged gifts, with Kim receiving a Russian-made Aurus limousine, a tea set and a naval officer's dagger. Putin received busts and other artwork depicting him.

Earlier, Kim personally welcomed Putin at Pyongyang International Airport, embracing him and accompanying him to the Kumsusan State Guest House. The state-run Korean Central News Agency reported that the leaders "exchanged their pent-up inmost thoughts" during the ride, showcasing the "invincibility and durability" of Russia-North Korea ties.

Following the signing of the agreement, Putin and Kim attended a state reception in Pyongyang. Putin last visited Pyongyang in 2000 to strengthen ties with Kim's father, Kim Jong Il. Kim Jong Un's visit to Russia's far east last year signaled a deepening relationship.

Agreement could see North Korea flooded with Russian weapons

The agreement may pave the way for expanded arms deals between the two nations and enhance the growing anti-American and anti-Western coalition Putin is forming, according to Lami Kim, a professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.

Western officials are concerned about weapons and intelligence-sharing that could aid Russia in Ukraine and threaten the United States and its allies in Asia.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken remarked that Russia’s efforts to strengthen relations with North Korea indicate desperation to sustain its war in Ukraine. U.S. intelligence suggests that Russia might be providing North Korea with nuclear submarine and ballistic missile technology in exchange for munitions, a move that could enable North Korea to field a nuclear-armed submarine.

Both Russia and North Korea have denied any arms transfers, which would violate United Nations Security Council resolutions that Russia previously supported.

Russia's recent veto of UN sanctions monitoring against North Korea has raised concerns about avoiding scrutiny and shielding Kim from consequences for weapons tests.

The agreement with Moscow could provide Pyongyang with essential oil and natural resources for its economy and missile program, further undermining the effectiveness of sanctions.

Watch this video showing Russian President Vladimir Putin's arrival in Pyongyang.

This video is from the Cynthia's Pursuit of Truth channel on

More related stories:

North Korea hires Russian influencer to promote hermit kingdom’s tourism.

North Korea blasts "sinister" U.S. approval of F-16 jets for Ukraine.

North Korea tests solid-fuel missile with HYPERSONIC warhead in newest display of power.

North Korea, Russia vow to form NEW WORLD ORDER free of U.S. domination.

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