VIDEO | Andonovic: Three reasons why Putin is visiting North Korea

Analysis with Andonović / Photo Sloboden pechat

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives in North Korea, his first visit to the country in 24 years. The visit represents a step towards closer political, military and economic ties between the two countries.

Putin thanked North Korea for its "firm support" of Russia in Ukraine and vowed that Moscow would stand by Pyongyang's efforts to defend its interests, which he called "under fierce" American pressure, blackmail and military threats".

Putin expects the two countries to continue "resolutely resisting Western ambitions to hinder the establishment of a multipolar world order based on mutual respect for justice."

When Putin last visited North Korea in 2000, Korean leader Kim Jong Il, father of current North Korean president Kim Jong Un, was in power.

"If the essence of the previous meeting between the two leaders was to lay the foundations of their relationship, this visit means that significant progress has been achieved, world analysts believe.

The upcoming meeting has drawn world attention to the question of the degree of military cooperation that could be agreed upon at the meeting.

They are expected to strengthen ties in the cultural, agricultural, economic and tourism sectors.

Another important aspect to consider is how Putin plans to position himself toward North Korea's advanced arms trade and its nuclear program.

In this cooperation, the West sees the realization of Putin's threats, who previously announced that he would arm all the enemies of the West, as revenge for their assistance in arms to Ukraine.

As Russia's invasion of Ukraine drags on for more than two and a half years, North Korea and Russia have become increasingly dependent on each other, primarily for the supply of arms, ammunition and military equipment.

It is more than clear that Russia needs weapons and above all ammunition because of the war in Ukraine which has lasted for 846 days, with fierce fighting, while North Korea needs Russian technology.

The two countries could agree on closer military cooperation, which would include joint development of weapons systems.

North Korea is expected to demand more than food and fuel in exchange for the weapons it would send to Russia.

Especially after the failed launch of a reconnaissance satellite in May, North Korea may ask Russia for technical assistance in aeronautical technology, Dr. Nam predicts.

As a leader in space technology, Russia could be of crucial help to North Korea in successfully launching more satellites.

North Korea is also expected to seek Russian support to improve its reconnaissance satellites and build its own nuclear submarines.

Putin has so far complained many times about the issue of Western weapons entering Ukraine and has threatened the possible use of nuclear weapons.

However, nuclear cooperation or the sharing of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia would cause a major reaction from neighboring countries and major powers such as the United States, according to insiders, who, at least for now, are not expected to discuss these topics. .

The second goal of Putin's visit is certainly from the economic sphere, that is, the expansion of economic cooperation between the two countries.

It is more than clear that Russia, which is under full sanctions, needs work as well as labor, while North Korea, which is also under full sanctions, needs foreign currency inflow for its economy.

North Korea is currently most in need of "labor-earned foreign currency" from Russia.

This opens the possibility for North Korea to send more workers to Russia.

Russia, on the other hand, needs labor to rebuild war-damaged buildings and infrastructure and to revive the economy.

However, United Nations Security Council sanctions against North Korea prohibit its workers from working abroad.

Therefore, if Russia, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, officially starts employing workers from North Korea, it will likely cause a great outcry in the international community.

All eyes will be focused on the two countries' approach to economic cooperation in the face of international sanctions and diplomatic pressure from the West.

The third and, according to many, no less important issue in the relations between the two countries is certainly the cultural exchange. According to the announcements, it also implies the development of tourism in North Korea, which, according to the local authorities, is increasing.

Russia has resumed group tours to North Korea, which were suspended since February 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Passenger trains between North Korea and Russia also resumed on June 6, for the first time in nearly four years.

Moscow said more than 400 Russian tourists traveled to North Korea between February and May 2024, and several Russian travel agencies are offering four- or five-day tours to North Korea for $750 on their websites.

The agencies state that for this money, group tours in North Korea include visits to Mount Paektu, tours of historical sites in North Korea and attending celebrations marking the anniversary of the Korean War.

Many world analysts agree that, although underdeveloped, North Korean tourism is becoming an important way for socio-cultural exchange and improvement of the country's international image beyond economic benefits.

One thing is certain. Since Putin's visit to North Korea, Russia expects to return to the international stage, while North Korea tries to increase contacts with the outside world from which it has been completely isolated for decades.

 

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