What does the letter published by North Korean media say ahead of Putin's arrival?

On the eve of Putin's visit to North Korea, the media in that country published excerpts from the letter addressed to Putin

by Sededin Dedovic
What does the letter published by North Korean media say ahead of Putin's arrival?
© Oleg Nikishin / Getty Images

Vladimir Putin today stopped in the Russian Far East on his way to North Korea, as reported by Russian state media. Putin's trip to the Republic of Sakha, which produces diamonds and is Russia's largest region by area, was his first visit there since 2014.

"The development of the Far Eastern region is a priority of Russian policy for the entire 21st century," Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with specialists who chose to work in the Far East, according to the pro-Putin TASS.

"For Russia, the development of the Far East is a priority for the entire 21st century, without exaggeration," emphasized Vladimir Putin. A series of meetings is planned, including with regional leaders, before he later flies to North Korea for talks likely to include the signing of partnership agreements with the isolated country.

It's unclear exactly when the Russian leader will arrive in Pyongyang today. It is expected to be in the evening local time. Tomorrow will be the key day of his state visit, with an official ceremony scheduled. The last time Putin visited North Korea was in 2000, when he met with Kim Jong Il, the late father of Kim.

The Guardian published excerpts of a letter from Putin that were released by North Korean state media ahead of his planned visit to North Korea later today. - "He plans to build the architecture of 'indivisible security in Eurasia'"
- "We will develop alternative trade and settlement mechanisms that are not controlled by the West, and jointly resist illegitimate unilateral restrictions." The Russian president also promised support for Pyongyang's efforts to defend its interests despite what he called "U.S.

pressures, extortion, and military threats." The letter was published in North Korea's Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the ruling Workers' Party. North Korean state media also published articles praising Russia and supporting Moscow's full invasion of Ukraine, launched in February 2022.

"The Korean people will always stand on the side of the Russian government and people, providing full support and solidarity in their struggle to defend national sovereignty and security interests," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) commentary said.

U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller reiterated on Monday accusations that North Korea had delivered "dozens of ballistic missiles and over 11,000 containers of ammunition" to Russia for use in Ukraine. He said the U.S.

had seen Putin "become increasingly desperate in recent months" and demanded that Iran and North Korea compensate for equipment lost on the battlefield. Moscow and Pyongyang have denied transferring weapons. This is an exceptionally rare trip highlighting Moscow's increasingly strong partnership with the nuclear state.

It has become clear that Kim Jong Un supports Russia with the delivery of rockets and ammunition and has thus positioned himself clearly in Russia's aggression against the sovereign state of Ukraine.

Russian President Putin Meets North Korean Leader Kim During Landmark Summit In Vladivostok© Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last September, during a visit to the Russian Far East, extended an invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit his country.

"On the invitation of the chairman of the state affairs commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin will visit the friendly Democratic People's Republic of Korea from June 18 to 19," the Kremlin statement said, adding that after North Korea, he will visit Vietnam on June 19 and 20, Reuters reported.

Russia seeks new allies

Russia is making a concerted effort to publicly highlight the renewal of its relations with North Korea since the start of the war in Ukraine, which has caused the biggest crisis in Moscow-West relations in more than 60 years.

Putin's courting of Kim enables him to challenge Washington and its Asian allies, while ensuring artillery supplies for the continuation of the war in Ukraine. The U.S. and its allies say North Korea has delivered weapons to Russia to assist in its fight in Ukraine, though North Korea has dismissed these claims as fiction invented by Western propaganda.

On the other hand, South Korea announced on Thursday that it is "closely monitoring preparations" for Putin's visit to its northern neighbor. It called on Moscow to "contribute to the spread of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and to respect international decisions." Seoul has provided significant military assistance to Ukraine.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol visited Ukraine last month, and his country has joined Western sanctions imposed on Moscow. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that the best way to respond to Putin's visit to North Korea is "to continue strengthening diplomatic alliances to achieve a just and lasting peace in Ukraine, and for additional quantities of Patriot missiles and ammunition to be delivered to Ukraine."