Pyongyang decked up as Putin makes first visit to North Korea in 24 years

Russian President Vladmir Putin is greeted by his counterpart Kim Jong Un during a welcoming ceremony at an airport in Pyongyang, North Korea June 19, 2024. (Photo/Reuters)

President Vladimir Putin has arrived in North Korea, Russian news agencies reported, after he said the two countries want to cooperate closely to overcome US-led sanctions in the face of intensifying confrontations with Washington.

Early on Wednesday, Putin was met at Pyongyang's airport by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, according to the news agencies.

Putin, making his first trip to North Korea in 24 years, said in comments that appeared in its state media hours before he landed that he appreciates the country’s firm support of his military actions in Ukraine.

He said the countries would continue to "resolutely oppose" what he described as Western ambitions "to hinder the establishment of a multipolar world order based on justice, mutual respect for sovereignty, considering each other’s interests."

Putin's visit comes amid Western accusations about an arms arrangement in which Pyongyang provides Moscow with badly needed munitions to fuel Russia's war in Ukraine in exchange for economic assistance and technology transfers that would enhance Kim's nuclear weapons and missile program.

In the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, the streets were decorated with portraits of Putin and Russian flags. A banner on a building said: "We warmly welcome the President of the Russian Federation."

Putin also said in his published remarks that Russia and North Korea will develop trade and payment systems "that are not controlled by the West" and jointly oppose sanctions against the countries, which he described as "illegal, unilateral restrictions."


North Korea is under heavy UN Security Council economic sanctions over its nuclear weapons and missile programmes, while Russia is also grappling with sanctions by the United States and its Western partners over its aggression in Ukraine.

Putin said the countries will also expand cooperation in tourism, culture and education.

Putin is being accompanied by several top officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Denis Mantrurov, Defense Minister Andrei Belousov and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, according to his foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov.

He said a number of documents will be signed during the visit, possibly including an agreement on a comprehensive strategic partnership.

US and South Korean officials say military, economic and other exchanges between North Korea and Russia have sharply increased since Kim met Putin in September in the Russian Far East, their first since 2019.

They accuse the North of providing Russia with artillery, missiles and other military equipment for use in Ukraine, possibly in return for key military technologies and aid.

Both Pyongyang and Moscow deny accusations about North Korean weapons transfers.


Source: TRT