Putin wishes Kim on his birthday and deepens ties

While relations between North Korea and Russia have not always been as warm as they were during the Soviet era, North Korea is now clearly taking advantage of Moscow’s need for a friend.

Relations between Russia and North Korea have grown rapidly since Russia invaded Ukraine last February. Last Wednesday, Russia backed North Korea’s missile test at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

The beginning of relations between North Korea and Russia and how the two countries are getting closer:

Political support:

Communist North Korea was formed in the early days of the Cold War with the support of the Soviet Union. In the 1950-1953 Korean War, North Korea fought with South Korea and its UN allies, including the United States, with extensive help from China and the Soviet Union.

For decades, North Korea relied heavily on aid from the Soviet Union. After the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, North Korea suffered a deadly famine.

North Korean leaders were willing to strike a balance between China and Russia. However, the relationship between these two countries with leader Kim Jong-un was initially relatively cool. Because both countries followed the path of the United States and took steps to impose strict sanctions on North Korea’s nuclear tests.

But during North Korea’s latest nuclear weapons test in 2017, Leader Kim took steps to restore relations. In 2019, Kim and Putin met for the first time in the Russian city of Vladivostok.

Since then, Russia has resisted imposing sanctions on North Korea. They have also publicly vetoed US sanctions in the UN Security Council.

Support in the war in Ukraine:

Just as Russia has supported North Korea, North Korea has openly supported Moscow since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

North Korea has also recognized the independence of Ukraine’s separatist regions, even supporting Russia’s announcement this week to add four Ukrainian regions to its own.

“Russia’s ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine has ushered in a new geopolitical reality, in which the Kremlin and North Korea could become ever closer,” said Artyom Lunkin, a professor at a university in Vladivostok.

The United States says Russia has moved to North Korea to buy large quantities of ammunition and weapons to replenish war-depleted supplies. However, both Russia and North Korea have denied such US claims.

Economic Ties:

Experts say most of North Korea’s trade goes through China, but Russia is also an important trading partner for the country. Especially in the oil supply.

Despite Russia’s denial of violating UN sanctions against North Korea, there are allegations of oil exports to North Korea by Russian tankers circumventing the sanctions. In addition, sanctions monitors have reported the presence of North Korean workers in Russia despite the sanctions.

Trade and other communications with Russia were almost completely cut off as North Korea implemented strict lockdown measures at their border during the Covid pandemic.

However, North Korea will soon lift some of the stricter restrictions at the border, and there are logical reasons for this, said Lunkin, a professor at the Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok. Trade in trains may start soon – Lunkin said, referring to a report from the local government in this regard.

Russian officials have openly discussed working on a political settlement to recruit 20,000 to 50,000 North Korean workers, despite UN Security Council sanctions.

In addition, Russian officials and leaders have also discussed using North Korean workers to help rebuild Ukraine’s war-torn separatist regions.

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