Putin vows trade, security agreements with North Korea ahead of visit

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Vladimir Putin promised to build trade and security systems with North Korea that are not controlled by the West and pledged his unwavering support in a letter published by North Korean state media on Tuesday ahead of his planned visit to the country.

In a letter published in North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun, a ruling Workers’ Party mouthpiece, the Russian president said the two countries have developed good relations and partnerships over the past 70 years based on equality, mutual respect and trust.

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“We will develop alternative mechanisms of trade and mutual settlements that are not controlled by the West, and jointly resist illegitimate unilateral restrictions,” Putin wrote. “And at the same time – we will build an architecture of equal and indivisible security in Eurasia.”

He thanked North Korea for supporting what Russia calls its special military operation in Ukraine, and vowed support for Pyongyang’s efforts to defend its interests despite what he called “U.S. pressure, blackmail and military threats.”

The article was published a day after the two countries announced that Putin will visit North Korea for the first time in 24 years for two days starting on Tuesday.

Putin’s foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov said Russia and North Korea may sign a partnership agreement during the visit that would include security issues.

He said the deal would not be directed against any other country, but would “outline prospects for further cooperation, and will be signed taking into account what has happened between our countries in recent years - in the field of international politics, in the field of economics ... including, of course, taking into account security issues.”

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