Putin's Diplomatic Tour: Defense Pact with North Korea and State Visit to Vietnam

Russia | June 20, 2024, Thursday // 09:34|  views

North Korea and Russia have agreed to provide immediate military aid to each other in the event of armed aggression, as outlined in a newly signed pact. This agreement was formalized during Russian President Vladimir Putin's first visit to Pyongyang in 24 years. The pact essentially revives a 1961 mutual defense agreement that had been annulled in 1990 when the USSR established diplomatic ties with South Korea.

Article 4 of the contract stipulates that if either party faces an armed invasion and enters a state of war, the other party will immediately employ all available means to offer military and other forms of assistance. This provision aligns with Article 51 of the UN Charter and adheres to the laws of each nation.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Vietnam for a state visit, landing at Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport on Thursday after his trip to North Korea, reported the Russian news agency TASS. A red carpet welcome and a guard of honour greeted Putin at the airport. He was received by Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha, Le Hoai Trung, head of the CPV Central Committee's Department for International Affairs, and Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Le Thi Thu Hang, according to TASS.

During his visit, Putin will hold meetings with four key Vietnamese leaders: the President, the general secretary of the Communist Party's Central Committee, the Prime Minister, and the chairman of the National Assembly. Additionally, he will meet with alumni of Soviet and Russian universities.

Prior to his Vietnam visit, Putin was in North Korea, where he announced a significant elevation in bilateral ties, highlighting a commitment to mutual assistance in case of aggression. This was part of what he termed a "breakthrough" strategic partnership during his rare visit to the isolated state, reported CNN.

Thousands of North Koreans, chanting "welcome Putin," lined the streets with Russian and North Korean flags and flowers as Putin made his first visit to North Korea in 24 years. According to TASS, the leaders signed a comprehensive partnership agreement, replacing previous accords from 1961, 2000, and 2001.

Putin stated that the new agreement includes mutual assistance in case of aggression against either party. He praised the pact as a "truly breakthrough document," covering political, trade, investment, cultural, and security areas. He also criticized US policy as "confrontational" and joint military exercises involving the US, South Korea, and Japan as "hostile" towards North Korea.

In response, Kim Jong-un lauded the new "alliance" as a crucial moment in bilateral relations. The visit included a celebratory welcome ceremony in Kim Il Sung Square, featuring mounted soldiers, military personnel, and children with balloons, set against large portraits of the two leaders. Putin and Kim exchanged greetings, stood together for the Russian national anthem, and rode in an open-top limousine, waving to the crowds, as reported by CNN.

During their meeting, Putin gifted Kim an Aurus car and a tea set, while the specifics of what Putin received were not disclosed but described as "also good gifts" by his aide Yuri Ushakov.

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Tags: Korea, Russia, Putin, Vietnam

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