P​utin to Visit North Korea, a Newly Crucial Ally as Ukraine War Drags On

P​utin to Visit North Korea, a Newly Crucial Ally as Ukraine War Drags On

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia will make a state visit in North Korea beginning Tuesday for a meeting with its leader, Kim Jong-un, the Kremlin and North Korean state media said Monday. It will be their second meeting in nine months, as the two countries deepen military ties to support Mr. Putin’s war in Ukraine with North Korean weapons.

Mr. Putin last visited North Korea in 2000, when he became the first Russian or Soviet leader to visit the nation. The trip highlights North Korea’s growing strategic importance for Mr. Putin, especially its ability to supply badly needed conventional weapons for the war in Ukraine.

For Mr. Kim, it was a rare moment of his country, a pariah in the West, being sought after as an ally.

“At the invitation of the Chairman of State Affairs of the DPRK, Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin will pay a friendly state visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on June 18-19,” the Kremlin said.

​Days before Mr. Putin’s ​arrival in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, the Kremlin​ vowed to foster cooperation with North Korea “in all areas.” This new era of relations between the two countries was apparent when the two leaders met in the Russian Far East in September.

Pyongyang and Moscow were Cold War-era allies whose relations cooled after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. But in the past couple of years, they have again grown closer as they shared hostilities toward the United States — Russia over its war against Ukraine and North Korea over its nuclear weapons program.

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