Sanctioned by US, 2 Dictators Join Forces

Kim Jong Un vows 'full support' for Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 18, 2024 7:06 PM CDT
Updated Jun 19, 2024 2:05 AM CDT
Putin Arrives in North Korea
Russian President Vladimir Putin walks as North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with the Russian delegation.   (Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
UPDATE Jun 19, 2024 2:05 AM CDT

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un promised full support for Russia's war in Ukraine before beginning a one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Pyongyang on Wednesday, in a bid to expand their economic and military cooperation and show a united front against Washington. Kim said relations between Moscow and Pyongyang are now even closer than during Soviet times and called Putin's visit an opportunity to solidify their "fiery friendship." Speaking before the summit, Putin thanked Kim for support in Ukraine and said the two countries would sign an agreement to boost their partnership as both "fight against the imperialist hegemonistic policies of the US and its satellites against the Russian Federation," the AP reports.

Jun 18, 2024 7:06 PM CDT

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in North Korea early Wednesday after saying the two countries want to cooperate closely to overcome US-led sanctions in the face of intensifying confrontations with Washington. Putin was met at Pyongyang's airport by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. They shook hands and embraced, and Kim later joined Putin in his car to personally guide him to Pyongyang's Kumsusan State Guest House, North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency said. The agency described their meeting as a historic event that demonstrates the "invincibility and durability" of the two nations' friendship and unity.

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." He also said Russia and North Korea will develop trade and payment systems "that are not controlled by the West."

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Putin's visit comes amid growing concerns 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 the threat posed by Kim's nuclear weapons and missile programs, the AP reports. 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."

(More Vladimir Putin stories.)

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