July 20, 2024

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North Korea rolls out the red carpet for Putin

2 min read

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is greeted by North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un during a welcoming ceremony at an airport in Pyongyang, North Korea June 19, 2024. 

Gavriil Grigorov | Via Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin was met with a grand reception in Pyongyang, North Korea on Wednesday amid concerns from Western officials about the two nuclear-armed countries’ growing relationship.

North Korean state TV showed the two leaders warmly embracing on a red carpet outside Pyongyang International Airport after Putin landed around 2:45 a.m. local time, kicking off his first visit there in 24 years.

The state TV report showed the two leaders leaving in a car together as well as images of Pyongyang streets lined with flags, banners and posters promoting Putin and relations with Russia. 

During their initial meeting, the Russian and North Korean leaders shared their “pent-up inmost thoughts” and agreed to further develop their nations’ relations, state media KCNA reported.

The official newspaper of North Korea’s ruling party reported on Tuesday that Putin had praised Kim Jong Un’s leadership and promised to help develop trade and strengthen security across Eurasia. The article added that he supports the DPRK’s opposition to its “dangerous and aggressive” enemies.

Ahead of the trip, expected to last two days, Russian officials had also signaled that the countries could sign a “comprehensive strategic partnership” amid growing ties. 

Western countries — which heavily sanction both Russia and North Korea — have been closely monitoring developments of the visit and the potential ramifications for Russia’s war in Ukraine and tensions on the Korean Peninsula. 

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a joint press briefing on Tuesday that Putin’s trip “confirms the very close alignment between Russia and authoritarian states like North Korea,” as well as China and Iran. Stoltenberg delivered the comments alongside U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

U.S….



2024-06-19 03:13:00

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