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Monday, July 22, 2024
Monday July 22, 2024
Monday July 22, 2024

Putin and Kim Jong Un forge new defence pact amid western concerns

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The West watches anxiously as Russia and North Korea strengthen their military alliance, signalling a new era of cooperation between the two nations

In a significant diplomatic event, Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a new mutual defence pact. This agreement ensures both nations will provide comprehensive assistance to each other in the face of any aggression. The pact marks Putin’s first visit to North Korea in 24 years, highlighting a recent intensification in the relationship between the two countries.

During a summit filled with ceremony in Pyongyang, Kim Jong Un described the pact as their “strongest-ever treaty,” elevating their relationship to the level of an alliance. Kim pledged full support for Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, while Putin hailed the agreement as a “breakthrough document” that reflects their mutual desire to enhance bilateral relations.

The North Korean state news agency KCNA released the full text of the document, which outlines cooperation in nuclear energy, space exploration, food and energy security. Article 4 of the agreement states that if one country is invaded and enters a state of war, the other must immediately provide “military and other assistance” using all available means.

Additionally, the pact stipulates that neither country will sign any treaty with a third party that could infringe on the other’s interests, nor allow their territories to be used to harm each other’s security and sovereignty.

The new agreement revisits the historical 1961 treaty between North Korea and the former Soviet Union, which required Moscow’s military intervention if the North was attacked. This earlier treaty was replaced in 2000 with a less binding agreement after the collapse of the USSR.

In practical terms, this new alliance can benefit both nations. Russia seeks ammunition and support for its military campaign in Ukraine, while North Korea desires Russian expertise to advance its missile and nuclear programs, along with economic aid and oil supplies. Putin indicated a willingness to develop “military-technical cooperation” with North Korea.

Analysis

Political: This pact signals a strategic shift in global alliances, as Russia and North Korea consolidate their positions against Western nations. For Putin, this partnership is a critical move to secure military support and resources for his prolonged conflict in Ukraine. For Kim, the alliance provides an opportunity to bolster his regime’s security and gain economic benefits. This development complicates international diplomacy, particularly for the United States and its allies, as they must now contend with a more unified front of adversarial powers.

Social: The deepening ties between Russia and North Korea could exacerbate existing societal tensions within these countries. Both leaders are likely to use this alliance to reinforce nationalist sentiments and distract from domestic issues. The ceremonial aspects of Putin’s visit, including the lavish welcome and gift exchanges, are designed to project strength and unity to their populations.

Racial: The partnership has implications for the ethnic minorities in both nations. North Korea’s rigid societal structure and Russia’s diverse population could face increased propaganda emphasizing unity against perceived external threats. This rhetoric might further marginalize minority groups within these countries.

Gender: The focus on military and technical cooperation could have gendered impacts, as defence sectors traditionally employ more men than women. Economic assistance and development projects arising from this pact might also prioritize male-dominated industries, potentially sidelining women’s participation and benefits.

Economical: Economically, the alliance promises mutual benefits but also significant risks. Russia’s support could help stabilize North Korea’s fragile economy, while North Korean resources and military aid are critical for Russia’s ongoing conflicts. However, this partnership might strain Russia’s economy further due to increased military expenditure and potential sanctions from Western nations.

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