Kim and Putin sign ‘comprehensive’ partnership agreement during Russian leader’s Pyongyang visit — Novaya Gazeta Europe
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Kim and Putin sign ‘comprehensive’ partnership agreement during Russian leader’s Pyongyang visit

Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attend an official welcoming ceremony in Pyongyang, North Korea, 19 June 2024. Photo: EPA-EFE / VLADIMIR SMIRNOV / SPUTNIK / KREMLIN POOL

Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attend an official welcoming ceremony in Pyongyang, North Korea, 19 June 2024. Photo: EPA-EFE / VLADIMIR SMIRNOV / SPUTNIK / KREMLIN POOL 

Vladimir Putin and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un signed a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement to strengthen ties between Russia and North Korea on Wednesday during the Russian leader’s first visit to Pyongyang for 24 years, Russian state media reported.

The agreement between the two countries was signed after two hours of talks between Kim and Putin at Pyongyang’s Kumsusan Palace of the Sun on Wednesday, Russian state news agency TASS said.

Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov had previously told journalists that the agreement would supersede previous agreements between the two countries and aimed to “ensure greater stability in the Northeast Asia region”.

In his opening remarks to begin Wednesday’s talks, Kim said that Putin’s first visit to North Korea since 2000 marked a “great historical moment” and a “new period of great flourishing” in relations between the two countries and that Pyongyang would continue to support Russia as it maintained “strategic stability and balance in the world”.

Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Russian Defence minister Andrey Belousov during the official welcome ceremony, 19 June 2024. Photo: EPA-EFE /GAVRIIL GRIGOROV / SPUTNIK / KREMLIN POOL

Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Russian Defence minister Andrey Belousov during the official welcome ceremony, 19 June 2024. Photo: EPA-EFE /GAVRIIL GRIGOROV / SPUTNIK / KREMLIN POOL

“The government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea … expresses its full support for and solidarity with the Russian government, army, and people in carrying out the special military operation in Ukraine to protect its sovereignty, security interests and territorial integrity”, Kim said.

In response, Putin thanked Kim for his “consistent and unwavering support” for Russia in its “struggle against the hegemonic and imperialist policies which have been imposed by the United States and its satellites on the Russian Federation for decades”.

Talks between the two began following a lavish welcome ceremony on the North Korean capital’s Kim Il Sung Square on Wednesday morning, with images released by state media in both countries showing thousands of North Koreans lining the streets of Pyongyang to welcome Putin, whose portrait adorned buildings around the city. Putin himself hailed the “impressive” changes to the city since his last visit in 2000.

Putin is accompanied on his visit by a delegation of officials that includes Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defence Minister Andrey Belousov, as well as Yury Borisov, the head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, TASS reported.

He is expected to visit Pyongyang’s Church of the Life-Giving Trinity, North Korea’s only Orthodox church, later on Wednesday before leaving North Korea for a state visit to Vietnam announced by the Kremlin earlier this week.

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