Putin, Kim vow closer ties as North Korea backs Russia’s Ukraine campaign

Putin said significant progress was made on a fundamental document that will form the basis of long-term Russia-North Korea ties going forward.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un cemented their nations’ strengthening strategic partnership during talks in Pyongyang this week, with Kim offering full support for Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine.

The two heads of state met for about 90 minutes, hailing the negotiations as a milestone for bolstering relations between the Cold War-era allies in the face of U.S. hegemony.

In comments after the summit, Putin said significant progress was made on a fundamental document that will form the basis of long-term Russia-North Korea ties going forward. He added that both Moscow and Pyongyang are fighting against the hegemonic policies of the U.S. and its satellite states.

For his part, Kim offered explicit backing for Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine. The public declaration of support from Pyongyang suggests Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – which has turned the country into an international pariah – is binding Moscow and Kim’s regime together as a united front against the West.

Putin thanked Kim for their unwavering support for Russian policies. The Russian leader also praised the impressive development he has witnessed in Pyongyang since his last visit over two decades ago.

Kim responded by voicing appreciation for Russia’s role in maintaining global strategic stability and balance. He said North Korea intends to further strengthen strategic communication with Russia given the rapidly changing global situation.

Few concrete details emerged about potential new economic or military cooperation between the two nations. But their stern rhetoric highlighted an alignment in opposing U.S. influence and promoting a multipolar world.

The talks followed recent moves by Russia and North Korea to deepen their ties. That includes plans for more Russian energy exports to North Korea and work on eventual visa-free travel between the two countries, as they push back against Western sanctions.

The summit came at a pivotal moment for both leaders, who are looking to show they are not isolated internationally amid their confrontations with the U.S. and its allies. The visit by Putin – the first by a Russian leader to North Korea since 2011 – was a symbolically significant coup for Kim.