Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lankov arrived in North Korea capital city of Pyongyang on Wednesday accompanied by local press to meet the leader of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Kim Jong-Un, as well as his top diplomat in the country.
At the meeting Lavrov suggested that there should be regular security meetings between Russia, North Korea and China as he accused the United States of encroaching on the security of his East-Asian allies.
Lavrov visit north Korea TikTok VDO.
Furthering bilateral ties between the Russian Federation and the DPRK
The meeting follows on form the historic summit between Chairman Kim Jong-Un and President Putin in September of last month, where not only were bilateral ties between the two countries boosted, but also where it was alleged that North Korea agreed to supply munitions to Russia.
Only last week the United States accused North Korea of transferring munitions to the Russian Federation in aid of its war in Ukraine, and according to the US in foliation of a United Nations security resolution that bans any weapons trading with the DPRK.
Such accusations and indeed the hypocrisy of them has been met with short thrift from both sides. Russia which of course is already under draconian sanctions has a veto on any resolution put forward by the UN as a permanent member of the security council.
For its part the regime of the DPRK has remained a steadfast supporter of the Russian offensive, seeing it as part of a wider anti-imperialist struggle by Russia against western interests.
North Korea have also been extremely dismissive of the threat by the United States of further sanctions, due to the fact the country has be able to function thus far under the strictest sanctions regime the world has ever seen.
Furthering North Korea – Russia Relations
Military ties were not the only thing discussed at the meeting, with there also being a strong emphasis on political, as well as economic cooperation between the two long-term cold war allies.
During the talks Lavrov and Choe discussed “resuming full-fledged contacts” and intensifying economic cooperation, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. It added that Lavrov invited Choe to visit Moscow “at her convenience.” .
The Korean Central News Agency the state run media outlet for the DPRK added that they hoped for more Russian assistance on regional issues, such as on the Korean Peninsula, which still remains technically at war following the armistice of 1953 which ended the Korean War.
The United Sates and the Republic of Korea (south Korea) have recently resumed military drills, as well as having resumed trilateral talks between the RoK and Japan of late. This has led to North Korea further reaching out for security guarantees from both Russia and China, with the former at least appearing to embrace this role.
During a dinner banquet held for him on Wednesday, Lavrov stated that Russia deeply valued North Korea’s “unwavering and principled support” for its war in Ukraine as well as Pyongyang’s decision to recognize the independence of Russian-backed separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, according to Russia’s Foreign Ministry.
KCNA further stated that Lavrov also praised North Korea for “remaining unfazed by any pressure of the U.S. and the West,” before adding that that Russia fully supports Kim’s push to protect its security and economic interests. This was seen by many analysts as a clear sign that Russia was welcoming the DPRK back as a fully ally.
Russian economic soft-power
Another key part off the talks was a promise from both sides to bolster economic cooperation between the two sides, something the North Koreans will no doubt welcome.
During the years of the Cold War the DPRK benefited greatly from loans and subsidies from the USSR. When these were dropped in the early 90’s after the fall of the Soviet Union it was partially at least seen as contributing to the food insecurity of the country, which led to the “Arduous March”.
Since then the DPRK has struggled finically after being crippled by the hardest sanctions regime ever put on a sovereign nation. Russia and other countries had previously been fearful of investing in the DPRK due to the threat of sanctions. Despite being put under sanctions since the start of the war in Ukraine, Russian GDP has actually gone up, in part due to its pivot to other regional markets,
The DPRK will undoubtedly be hoping that once again they can economically benefit from being allies of an anti-imperialist front led by the Russian Federation.