Moscow, 17 January 2024 (TDI): Choe Son-hui, North Korea Foreign Minister, paid a significant visit to Russia from January 15 to 17, 2024, at the invitation of Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov. The two countries have aimed to build close relations in the backdrop of strengthening military cooperation.
Before the kick-start of the official meeting, Sergey Lavrov, in his opening remarks, mentioned that one of the objectives of the talks was to carry out an initial assessment of efforts. The assessment is aimed at executing agreements attained by the leaders of both sides last year.
Russian Foreign Minister reiterated that Russia has been working extensively and productively with Pyongyang in the United Nations and other multilateral institutions. Russia has traditionally supported the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on the platform of the United Nations.
On Monday, the Kremlin stated that it plans to expand its collaboration with North Korea in all sectors and described the North Korean country as its “closest neighbor” and “partner.”
North Korea’s Minister meets Putin
On Tuesday, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin met with North Korea’s Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui in the Kremlin. The gathering signals the latest indication of growing ties between the two governments.
According to the Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov, North Korea’s Choe Son-hui and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had informed Putin of the outcomes of their talks held earlier in the day.
In particular, Choe highlighted in her conversation with Lavrov that Russia and North Korea have a long history of friendliness and tradition. She emphasized the fact that the two countries’ foreign ministers now meet frequently to strengthen comradely relationships.
Moreover, she termed this as another proof that Korean-Russian friendly relations are going forward in line with the leaders’ goals.
President Putin’s reciprocal visit to North Korea
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited Russia in September 2023 to meet with President Vladimir Putin. He toured multiple military locations. This raised world concerns about a possible military alliance. It may help Moscow restock its arsenals amid the conflict in Ukraine.
Both leaders also went to the Vostochny Space Launch Centre, a Russian spaceport. During this visit, they conferred about assisting the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the construction of satellites.
Kim extended an invitation to President Vladimir Putin to come for a visit to his country during his trip to Russia. Putin accepted the invitation to visit North Korea. Choe’s anticipated talks in Moscow were expected to mention this prospective travel by Russia’s Head of State.
Consequently, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov shed light on whether preparations are being made for Putin’s trip to North Korea. Peskov reaffirmed that Putin’s visit to North Korea remains “on the agenda.” There is a valid invitation, and Putin will undoubtedly use it at a convenient time, with the mutual consent of each side, he added.
Also Read: North Korean President pays visit to Russia
DPRK support to Russia in Ukraine conflict
Following his conversations with Choe, Lavrov expressed gratitude for Pyongyang’s assistance. He referred to it as Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine.
The West has accused Moscow and Pyongyang of coordinating to support Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine. The claim constituted that North Korea reportedly sent hundreds of thousands of artillery rounds and other weaponry to Russia.
More recently, the United States has charged Russia with utilizing North Korean missiles to launch aerial attacks across Ukraine. A wave of attacks was initiated on December 29 in key Ukrainian cities. The bombardment of missiles by the Russian Federation was one of the most devastating attacks on the country since the war’s inception.