Putin-Kim agreement provides for military support in case of war

World News

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The recent agreement between Russia and North Korea, agreed to by their leaders at a summit in Pyongyang, commits each countries to make use of all available means to supply immediate military support within the event of war, North Korean state media reported Thursday.

Both North Korea's Kim Jong Un and Russia's Vladimir Putin described the agreement reached on Wednesday as a big expansion of bilateral ties within the areas of security, trade, investment, culture and humanitarian aid. Observers outside the United States said it could possibly be the strongest bond between Moscow and Pyongyang for the reason that end of the Cold War.

The North's official Korean News Agency reported the text of the excellent strategic partnership agreement on Thursday. The agency said Article 4 of the agreement states that if considered one of the countries is attacked and compelled right into a state of war, the opposite country must “without delay use all means at its disposal” to supply “military and other assistance.”

The Kim-Putin summit got here because the United States and its allies expressed growing concern over a possible arms deal under which Pyongyang would supply Moscow with much-needed munitions for the war in Ukraine in return for economic aid and technology transfers that would further increase the threat posed by Kim's nuclear weapons and missile programs.

After the summit, Kim said the 2 countries enjoyed a “fiery friendship” and the agreement was their “strongest treaty ever,” bringing relations to the extent of an alliance. He vowed to totally support Russia's war in Ukraine. Putin called it a “groundbreaking document” that reflected a shared desire to take relations to a better level.

North Korea and the previous Soviet Union signed a treaty in 1961 that, based on experts, provided for military intervention by Moscow within the event of an attack on the North. The treaty was scrapped after the collapse of the USSR and replaced in 2000 by a brand new one which offered weaker security guarantees.

After the meeting between Kim and Putin, South Korean officials said they were still interpreting the summit's results, including questions on how Russia might respond within the event of an attack on North Korea and whether the brand new agreement guarantees the same level of protection because the 1961 treaty. South Korean officials didn’t immediately comment on the North Korean report on the main points of the agreement as of Thursday morning.

“We cannot tell you anything concrete at this point,” said Lee Kyung-ho, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry in Seoul, when asked during a briefing whether he believed Russia had committed to automatic military operations in war situations on behalf of the North.

The deal was struck as Putin visited North Korea for the primary time in 24 years. The visit highlighted the 2 countries' personal and geopolitical ties: Kim hugged Putin twice on the airport, their motorcade drove past giant Russian flags and portraits of Putin, and a welcoming ceremony apparently attended by tens of hundreds of spectators took place in Pyongyang's major square.

According to KCNA, the agreement also states that Pyongyang and Moscow is not going to be allowed to enter into agreements with third parties that harm the opposite party's “core interests” and is not going to engage in actions that threaten those interests.

According to KCNA, the agreements commit the countries to organize joint measures to strengthen their defense capabilities to stop wars and protect peace and security within the region and globally. However, the agency didn’t provide details on what these measures are and whether or not they include joint military training and other cooperation.

The agreement also calls for energetic cooperation between the 2 countries in efforts to create a “fair and multipolar new world order,” KCNA said, underscoring how the 2 countries are joining forces within the face of their separate, escalating confrontations with the United States.

In recent months, Kim has made Russia his priority and pursued a foreign policy aimed toward expanding relations with countries at odds with Washington, embracing the thought of ​​a “new Cold War” and in search of to present a united front in Putin's larger conflicts with the West.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula have reached their highest level in years. Kim's weapons tests in addition to the joint military exercises of the US, South Korea and Japan are increasing in a cycle of mutual insults.

The two Koreas also waged a Cold War-style psychological war, with North Korea throwing tons of garbage on the South using balloons and the South spreading anti-North Korean propaganda over loudspeakers.

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