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Mutual Aid Agreement: Russia and North Korea Promise Military Support

(City Telegraph) – North Korea and Russia have committed to providing immediate military assistance to each other in the event of armed aggression. This agreement was signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s first visit to North Korea in 24 years.

The pledge revives a mutual defense agreement from a 1961 treaty between the two Cold War allies, which was annulled in 1990 when the Soviet Union established diplomatic relations with South Korea.

The agreement for a “comprehensive strategic partnership” signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday is one of the highest-profile moves in Asia by Moscow in years.

“If either side faces an armed invasion and is in a state of war, the other side will immediately use all available means to provide military and other assistance in accordance with Article 51 of the U.N. Charter and the laws of each country,” Article 4 of the agreement says.

Article 51 of the U.N. Charter provides for the right of a member country to take individual or collective self-defense actions.

The pledge by the leaders of the two countries, which are facing increasing international isolation, comes amid growing concern among the United States and its Asian allies over how much Russia would support North Korea, the only country to have tested a nuclear weapon this century.

Kim echoed Putin’s statement explicitly linking their deepening ties to fighting the “hegemonic and imperialist” policies of the West and the United States in particular, including its support for Ukraine.

The agreement also said neither side would sign any treaty with a third country that infringes on the interests of the other and will not allow its territory to be used by any country to harm the other’s security and sovereignty, KCNA said.

The two countries will take joint actions aimed at “strengthening defense capabilities to prevent war and ensure regional and international peace and security”, it said.

South Korea and the White House did not immediately have comment on the reported content of the agreement.

Japan expressed “grave concerns” about Putin’s vow not to rule out cooperation with Pyongyang on military technology.

The reaction from China, the North’s main political and economic benefactor, has been muted.

Washington and Seoul have been increasingly alarmed by deepening military cooperation between Russia and the North, and have accused the two of violating international laws by trading in arms for use in Moscow’s war against Ukraine. Ukrainian officials have said they have found North Korean missile debris inside their country.

Russia and North Korea deny any arms trade.

Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said Russia, a U.N. Security Council permanent member, has allowed “the most brazen nullification” of all sanctions imposed on North Korea to stop its weapons development.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the pact showed authoritarian powers are aligning.

On his first visit to Pyongyang since 2000, Putin thanked Kim for his support for Russian policy, and Kim reaffirmed “unconditional” and unwavering support for “all of Russia’s policies” including Putin’s war with Ukraine.

KCNA on Thursday released the full text of the agreement, which also included cooperation on nuclear energy, space exploration, food, and energy security.

Cha Du Hyeogn, a former South Korean government official who is now a fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul, said the mutual defense pledge is similar to the one in the 1961 treaty between the North and the Soviet Union.

But the reference to the U.N. Charter and each country’s laws is open for interpretation and it was not clear whether the agreement would constitute an alliance, he said.

“It comes from Kim wanting to put everything in for this agreement, while Putin is being reluctant to do so,” Cha said.

JOSH WALSH
JOSH WALSHhttps://citytelegraph.com/
Josh has a knack for delivering insightful analysis and breaking news that keeps readers informed and engaged. He strives to provide balanced and accurate reporting, navigating complex issues with clarity and depth. His work has been featured in reputable publications worldwide, reflecting his commitment to journalistic excellence and integrity.

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