Putin to visit North Korea as Kremlin considers "strategic partnership" treaty

Moscow, Russia - Russian President Vladimir Putin will travel to North Korea on Tuesday for a rare visit that may see Moscow sign a "strategic partnership treaty" with Pyongyang, the Kremlin said.

Moscow said Russian President Vladimir Putin (r.) will arrive in Pyongyang on Tuesday evening, where he will attend a concert in his honor before signing "important" documents with leader Kim Jong Un (l.) on Wednesday.
Moscow said Russian President Vladimir Putin (r.) will arrive in Pyongyang on Tuesday evening, where he will attend a concert in his honor before signing "important" documents with leader Kim Jong Un (l.) on Wednesday.  © Alexey NIKOLSKY / SPUTNIK / AFP

The historic trip – which the Kremlin called a "friendly state visit" – comes as Putin seeks ammunition to continue his military offensive in Ukraine and as the West suspects Pyongyang of sending weapons to Moscow.

"Several documents will be signed," among which will be "important, highly significant documents," Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov was quoted as saying by state-run Russian news agencies.

This may include a "strategic partnership" document that will be an updated version of a 1961 Soviet-era agreement and one signed when Putin last visited the reclusive state in 2000, he said.

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The document will be changed to adapt to a "deep evolution of the geopolitical situation in the world and the region," Ushakov said.

Russia is now, along with North Korea, one of the most heavily sanctioned countries in the world and Moscow has spent months warming its relations with Pyongyang as it faces isolation in the West.

Putin to sign "important" documents with North Korea's Kim Jong Un

Western countries have accused North Korea of sending weapons to Russia for use in Ukraine, which Moscow and Pyongyang have denied. Kyiv has said it has found North Korean shells on the battlefield.

Moscow said Putin will arrive in Pyongyang on Tuesday evening, where he will attend a concert in his honor before signing "important" documents with leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday.

The Kremlin chief will be taking a large delegation including his foreign, defense, health, transport, and space ministers, and may speak to the press along with Kim, Ushakov said.

Cover photo: Alexey NIKOLSKY / SPUTNIK / AFP

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