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Putin to visit N. Korea on June 18-19: KCNA

June 17, 2024 - 20:10 By Yonhap
Russian President Vladimir Putin (Reuters-Yonhap)

Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit North Korea this week, Pyongyang's state media reported Monday, amid deepening military cooperation with North Korea following his summit with the North's leader Kim Jong-un in September.

Putin will "pay a state visit" to North Korea for a two-day trip starting Tuesday at the invitation of the North's leader Kim, the Korean Central News Agency said in a one-sentence dispatch.

The Kremlin also confirmed Putin's North Korean trip, saying that the visit is part of a tour that will also include a stop in Vietnam from Wednesday to Thursday.

It will mark Putin's first trip to the reclusive regime since July 2000, when he traveled to Pyongyang to meet former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, the late father of the current leader.

Putin had accepted Kim's invitation to visit North Korea during the summit held at Russia's Vostochny spaceport in September, the Kremlin earlier said.

North Korea and Russia have been deepening military cooperation amid suspicions that Pyongyang has provided weapons and munitions to Moscow for use in Russia's war in Ukraine in return for Moscow's food aid and possible transfer of weapons technology.

At last year's summit, Putin hinted at Russia's willingness to help North Korea with its satellite program. In late May, the North failed to launch a military spy satellite following its successful launch of one in November last year.

Experts said the two leaders may adopt a joint declaration that calls for upgrading the level of their military, security and economic cooperation, but saw a low possibility of both nations signing a treaty akin to a military alliance.

The issue of North Korea's dispatch of its workers abroad could be also discussed at the upcoming summit, experts said. The North has a desperate need to earn foreign currency due to international sanctions, while Russia has been facing a labor shortage amid its war with Ukraine.

Arms trades and military cooperation with North Korea, as well as the employing of North Korean workers abroad, constitute a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions linked to the prohibition of Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs. (Yonhap)