Putin’s Pyongyang visit factors Northeast Asia into diplomatic equation

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un examine a launch pad of Soyuz rockets during their meeting at the Vostochny Cosmodrome outside the city of Tsiolkovsky in Russia, Sept. 13, 2023. AP-Yonhap

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to visit North Korea within a few days, in an apparent reciprocal gesture to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s trip to Russia’s Far East last November.

The visit, confirmed by an official at the South Korean presidential office, seems to be Moscow’s response to Pyongyang’s desire to showcase the close relations between the two sides to the world. This is expected to complicate the diplomatic equations involving the two Koreas, Russia, and China. Experts suggest that the level of cooperation achieved during Putin’s upcoming visit will shape the geopolitical dynamics of Northeast Asia in the near future.

During a press briefing, Thursday, a South Korean presidential official said the Russian president is expected to visit North Korea “in a few days,” confirming a series of foreign media reports on the purported visit citing preparation works for large-scale ceremonies in Pyongyang.

If realized, it would be Putin’s first trip to Pyongyang in 24 years. The Kremlin said earlier that Putin had accepted Kim’s invitation to visit 카지노 North Korea during their previous meeting in Russia’s Vostochny Cosmodrome space launch center, where the Russian leader promised to help the North build military satellites.

During the planned visit, Putin and Kim are expected to review the exchanges between their two sides since their last meeting and discuss ways to further enhance their bilateral relations.

Attracting international attention is the level of agreements the two sides will sign in strategic areas, which may encompass the revival or signing of treaties that define their military relations.

In 1961, the Soviet Union and North Korea signed an alliance treaty on mutual friendship, cooperation and assistance, which included a clause on automatic military intervention in the event of an armed invasion or war. However, this was abolished in 1996.

In 2000, Russia and the North signed the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation, Good Neighborliness, but it did not stipulate a military alliance between the two sides. Although it is called a treaty, South Korea considers it as a joint declaration, in which the two sides’ commitments are less binding compared to those stipulated in a formal treaty.

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