Russia and North Korea Sign Mutual Defense Agreement
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Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Un

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Pyongyang, North Korea, for the first time since July 2000 and signed a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un that pledges mutual defense. Putin said of the agreement, “The comprehensive partnership agreement signed today provides, among other things, for mutual assistance in the event of aggression against one of the parties to this agreement.”

Russian state-owned news agency TASS reported:

The treaty will take interaction between the two countries “to a new level” rather than resting on laurels that already exist. The document “sets large-scale tasks and benchmarks for the long-term deepening of Russian-Korean relations.” This includes the political, trade and investment, cultural, humanitarian and security spheres. Among other things, the treaty provides for “mutual assistance in the event of aggression against one of the parties.

TASS also reported that a North Korean diplomat stated at the North Korean embassy:

Literally today there was a historic meeting and negotiations between the leaders of our countries. And as a result of this meeting a new powerful inter-state treaty was born. [North Korean leader] Comrade Kim Jong Un today announced the solemn launch of the allied relations between our countries and assured that the North Korean government will further strengthen strategic communication with Russia under the current difficult international situation and will always and unconditionally support all the political guidelines of the Russian leadership. We are very satisfied with the results achieved during President Putin’s current visit to North Korea

The Russian-North Korean treaty comes after the United States and Ukraine signed a 10-Year Bilateral Security Agreement last week. Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made remarks reiterating plans for Ukraine becoming a NATO member, stating in a joint press conference:

We have very ambitious commitments that we’re making as an Alliance going forward. We’re demonstrating our enduring support for Ukraine and providing a strong bridge to Ukraine’s membership in the Alliance.