21 January 2024

North Korea agrees strategic and tactical co-operation with Russia

21 January 2024

North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said it has agreed to further strategic and tactical co-operation with Russia to establish a “new multi-polarised international order”.

In describing foreign minister Choe Son Hui’s meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow last week, the North’s Foreign Ministry said Mr Putin reaffirmed his willingness to visit Pyongyang and said that could come at an “early date”.

North Korea has been actively strengthening its ties with Russia, highlighted by leader Kim Jong Un’s September visit to Russia for a summit with Mr Putin.

In a separate statement on Sunday, the North’s Foreign Ministry condemned the UN Security Council for calling an emergency meeting over the country’s latest ballistic test, which state media described as a new intermediate-range solid-fuel missile tipped with a hypersonic warhead.

The ministry said the test firing on January 14 was among the country’s regular activities to improve its defence capabilities and that it did not pose a threat to its neighbours.

South Korea urged the Security Council on Thursday “to break the silence” over North Korea’s escalating missile tests and threats.

Russia and China, both permanent members of the council, have blocked US-led efforts to increase sanctions on North Korea over its recent weapons tests, underscoring a divide deepened over Russia’s war on Ukraine.

The alignment between Pyongyang and Moscow has raised international concerns about alleged arms co-operation, in which the North provides Russia with munitions to help prolong its fighting in Ukraine, possibly in exchange for badly needed economic aid and military assistance to help upgrade Mr Kim’s forces.

Both Pyongyang and Russia have denied accusations by Washington and Seoul about North Korean arms transfers to Russia.

North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, in comments published by state media, said Ms Choe and the Russian officials in their meetings expressed a “strong will to further strengthen strategic and tactical cooperation in defending the core interests of the two countries and establishing a new multi-polarized international order”.

Russia expressed “deep thanks” to North Korea for its “full support” over its war on Ukraine, the North Korean ministry said.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox