POLITICS

North Korea says Russian President Putin will arrive in the North on Tuesday

Jun 17, 2024, 4:22 AM

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean state media says Russian President Vladimir Putin will arrive in the country on Tuesday for a two-day visit.

Putin is expected to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for talks focused on expanding military cooperation as they deepen their alignment in the face of separate, intensifying confrontations with Washington.

North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said Monday that Putin will pay a state visit to the North on Tuesday and Wednesday at the invitation of Kim. North Korean state media didn’t immediately provide more details. Russia confirmed the visit in a simultaneous announcement.

It will be Putin’s first visit to North Korea in 24 years. The visit comes amid growing international concerns about an arms arrangement in which Pyongyang provides Moscow with badly needed munitions to fuel Putin’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 program.

Military, economic and other cooperation between North Korea and Russia have sharply increased since Kim visited the Russian Far East in September for a meeting with Putin, their first since 2019.

U.S. and South Korean officials have accused the North of providing Russia with artillery, missiles and other military equipment to help prolong its fighting in Ukraine, possibly in return for key military technologies and aid. Both Pyongyang and Moscow have denied accusations about North Korean weapons transfers, which would be in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

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