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Moscow-Pyongyang strategic partnership treaty to counterbalance US’ actions — expert

The document provides for immediate military assistance in case of any aggression against either of the parties to the treaty

MOSCOW, June 21. /TASS/. The treaty on comprehensive strategic partnership inked by Russia and North Korea is intended to stabilize the situation around the Korean Peninsula and serve as a counterweight to the United States’ aggressive actions in the region, a Russian analyst told TASS.

The treaty was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during Putin’s visit to Pyongyang on June 19. It provides for immediate military assistance in case of any aggression against either of the parties to the treaty.

"The bulk of the foreign policy part of the treaty is a step toward certain stabilization of the situation on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeastern Asia. It is needed to counterbalance forces on the Korean Peninsula, consolidate Russia’s position in Northeastern Asia, especially amid the degrading relations with some countries of the region," said Roman Lobov of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies.

According to the expert, the agreement came as a response to the deepening cooperation between the United States, South Korea and Japan, as well as the United States’ expanding presence on the Korean Peninsula. "Needless to say, the US-led trilateral military-political cooperation in the region is gaining steam as an anti-Russian alliance and this fact was also reflected in the agenda of talks between Putin and Kim," Lobov said.

He stressed that the documents that were signed during Putin’s visit "are not aimed against third countries and have a stabilizing potential." However, in his words, Western countries and some of their Asian allies tend to picture cooperation between Russia and North Korea "as a kind of anti-Western plot and even preparations for a military act of aggression." Although Russia’s approach to relations with the Korean Peninsula countries is being adjusted, its basic principles are unchanged, he added.

"Kim has described relations between the two countries as allied and thus demonstrated profound confidence in Russia and high expectations from the bilateral cooperation. Kim’s words that the current level of Russian-North Korean relations has exceeded what it was during the Soviet era speak to these expectations," the expert said.

Lobov noted that special attention during the visit was focused on the continuity of relations between Moscow and Pyongyang. "One of the songs that were played when the two leaders were inspecting the guard of honor was Wide Is My Motherland (a Soviet patriotic song dated as far back as 1936 - TASS), a kind of an official anthem of the former Soviet Union. And the amended treaty can be seen as the legacy of the bilateral agreements reached in 1961 and 2000," he said.

About Putin’s visit to North Korea

Putin paid a state visit to Pyongyang on June 18 and 19. It was a return visit at Kim’s invitation. Kim invited Putin to visit North Korea when he was on a visit to Russia in September 2023. Putin’s talks with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un yielded a treaty on comprehensive strategic partnership, agreements on cooperation in the areas of medicine, medical education and science, as well as a deal on the construction of a motor bridge across the River Tumannaya on the border between the two countries.