21 July 2024,   21:34
Putin to visit North Korea for the first time in 24 years

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to arrive in North Korea later on Tuesday, in his first visit in 24 years, underlining the deepening ties between the two nuclear-armed states, writes Al Jazeera.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un extended an invitation to Putin when Kim visited Russia’s east in September for the first talks between the two men since 2019.

“At the invitation of the Chairman of State Affairs of the DPRK, Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin will pay a friendly state visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on June 18-19”, the Kremlin said. North Korea’s state news agency, KCNA, also announced the visit but offered no further details.

Putin last visited Pyongyang in July 2000, four months after he was first elected president. He met the country’s then-leader, Kim Jong Il, Kim’s father.

In a letter published in Tuesday’s edition of the Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party, Putin said the two countries had developed good relations and partnerships over the past 70 years based on equality, mutual respect and trust.

“We will develop alternative mechanisms of trade and mutual settlements that are not controlled by the West, and jointly resist illegitimate unilateral restrictions. And at the same time – we will build an architecture of equal and indivisible security in Eurasia”, - Putin wrote.

He thanked North Korea for supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine and promised to support Pyongyang to defend its interests against what he called “US pressure, blackmail and military threats”.