Sunday, July 21, 2024
 
 

Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), and the U.S. condemn DPRK-Russia Cooperation

Primary concern is sustained North Korean support for Russia's war effort
Office of the President of Russia
Vladimir Putin officially welcomed by Chairman of State Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Kim Jong-un

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During his June 19-20 visit to Pyongyang, Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a comprehensive strategic partnership treaty that commits both countries to provide military assistance to each other if either is attacked. Both leaders have portrayed it as a major upgrade of their relations, covering security, trade, investment, cultural and humanitarian ties.

The summit marked Putin’s first visit to North Korea in 24 years.

Details of the new treaty have not been made public, but regional leaders are most concerned about a possible arms arrangement in which Pyongyang provides Moscow with badly needed munitions for its unexpectedly prolonged war in Ukraine, in exchange for economic assistance and technology transfers that could enhance the threat posed by Kim’s nuclear weapons and missile program.

While there are no current indications that North Korea will send troops to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, media reports in South Korea have surfaced indicating that Pyongyang is planning to send a military engineering unit to the occupied territories of Ukraine to undertake rebuilding work. Since Putin’s visit, South Korea has indicated that it is considering the dispatch of lethal military equipment to support Ukraine. 

North Korea said on June 27 that it had successfully tested a multiwarhead missile in the first known launch of a developmental weapon designed to overwhelm U.S. and South Korean missile defenses. South Korea quickly dismissed the claim as deception to cover up a failed launch.

Following their June 24 call to discuss the latest developments in DPRK-Russia relations, the three countries issued the joint statement below. The signatories were U.S. Senior Official for the DPRK Jung Pak, ROK Vice Foreign Minister for Strategy and Intelligence Cho Koo-rae, and Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Assistant Minister for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Namazu Hiroyuki.

Text of joint statement:

“The United States, ROK, and Japan condemn in the strongest possible terms deepening military cooperation between the DPRK and Russia, including continued arms transfers from the DPRK to Russia that prolong the suffering of the Ukrainian people, violate multiple United Nations Security Council Resolutions, and threaten stability in both Northeast Asia and Europe.  The advancement of the DPRK-Russia partnership, as highlighted by the signing of the “Treaty on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” during Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s June 19 visit to Pyongyang, should be of grave concern to anyone with an interest in maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, upholding the global non-proliferation regime, and supporting the people of Ukraine as they defend their freedom and independence against Russia’s brutal aggression.  The United States, ROK, and Japan reaffirm their intention to further strengthen diplomatic and security cooperation to counter the threats the DPRK poses to regional and global security and to prevent escalation of the situation.   The U.S. commitments to the defense of the ROK and Japan remain ironclad.  The United States, ROK, and Japan also reaffirm that the path to dialogue remains open and urge the DPRK to cease further provocations and return to negotiations.”

 

 

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