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18 July, 2024
 
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North Korea and Russia promise to defend each other if attacked

New agreement requires each country to come to the other's aid if either nation is attacked

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North Korea and Russia have signed a landmark defense pact, committing to provide immediate military assistance to each other if either country is attacked. The agreement was formalized by Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday during Putin’s state visit to Pyongyang.

The defense pact revives the 1961 Cold War-era mutual defense agreement and significantly strengthens the bilateral relationship between the two nations. It also enhances North Korea’s ties with a global power holding veto power on the UN Security Council.

According to the text released by North Korean state media KCNA, Article 4 of the pact stipulates that should either country face armed aggression, the other will provide immediate military and other assistance.

The defense pact revives the 1961 Cold War-era mutual defense agreement and significantly strengthens the bilateral relationship between the two nations.

Putin emphasized this mutual defense clause after his meeting with Kim, noting it includes the provision for mutual assistance in the event of aggression against either party. Kim hailed the new alliance as a pivotal moment in bilateral relations, with analysts suggesting it closely resembles a formal defense treaty.

Yu Ji-hoon from the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses pointed out that the clause implies automatic military intervention, mobilizing army, navy, and air force assets. However, the specifics of the military intervention provisions remain limited, necessitating close monitoring of how both nations interpret acts of aggression.

This agreement solidifies the deepening cooperation between North Korea and Russia, both facing international isolation due to Moscow’s war in Ukraine and Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs. Allegations have surfaced accusing North Korea of supplying military aid to Russia, and concerns mount over Russia potentially violating international sanctions to support North Korea’s military advancements. Both nations deny these claims, despite significant evidence.

Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, remarked that the pact signals Russia’s preference for strengthening ties with North Korea over adhering to the international nonproliferation regime and its obligations as a UN Security Council member.

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Cyprus  |  North Korea  |  Russia  |  defense

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