Russia vows to expand its bilateral relationship with North Korea

As Moscow gets buried under the sanctions and gets globally isolated for its ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, Pyongyang emerges as a counterbalance to the West as both have shared hostilities with the West.

On North Korea’s liberation day, North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un received a letter from his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, which discussed the expansion of the scope of their relationship and said how the move will be in both nations’ interests.

As Moscow gets buried under the sanctions and gets globally isolated for its ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, Pyongyang emerges as a counterbalance to the West as both have shared hostilities with the West.

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According to KCNA, a North Korean state-run media agency, Putin said the expanded bilateral relations would “conform with the interests of the two countries”.

In a reply to the letter, Kim mentioned how the Russian- North Korean friendship was built during the Second World War with a victory over the Imperial Japanese.

He added that their “comradely friendship” would grow stronger.

Kim mentioned about “strategic and tactical cooperation, support and solidarity” between the two countries “had been put on a new high stage, in the common front for frustrating the hostile forces’ military threat and provocation”.

The letter did not identify the “hostile forces” by name, however, this term is repeatedly used by Pyongyang to refer to The US and its allies like South Korea and Japan.

The Russian and North Korean relationship dates back to the Cold War, as Moscow and Pyongyang were fellow communist states. The Soviets were their largest trading partners, aided their nuclear programme and helped them rebuild post the Korean War.

However, the relationship suffered as the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

The ties between both states gain momentum as Moscow’s relations with the West deteriorated.

In July, North Korea was one of the few countries to officially recognise two Russian-backed separatist states in eastern Ukraine, after Russia declared them independent states.

Retaliating to this move, the Ukrainians, that are currently repelling a Russian invasion, have cut off ties with the North Koreans.

Being the two most sanctioned and diplomatic isolated countries in the world, the Russians and North Koreans have seen a friendship blossoming to counter the West’s hegemony essentially building an informal bloc that includes the likes of China and Iran.