Putin touches down in Pyongyang, says ‘heroic people’ of North Korea will ‘confront’ West with Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin touched down in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Tuesday, beginning a historic visit to the hermit kingdom expected to further forge a political coalition between the two former Soviet-governed states.

Putin’s visit to the country is the first in more than two decades.

“Pyongyang has always been our committed and like-minded supporter, ready to confront the ambition of the collective West to prevent the emergence of a multipolar world order based on justice, mutual respect for sovereignty and consideration of each other’s interests,” Putin wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday in North Korean state newspapers.

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In the op-ed, Putin emphasized the fact that North Korean history and geopolitics are inexorably linked to Russia and the regional communist bloc that formed in the 20th century.

“Russia has supported the DPRK and its heroic people in the struggle to defend their rights to choose the road of independence, originality and development by themselves in the confrontation with the cunning, dangerous and aggressive enemy yesterday and tomorrow, too, and will invariably support them in the future, too.”

Following the division of Korea due to Imperial Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II, the area above the 38th parallel was directly governed by the Soviet Union.

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Kim Jong Un speaks

North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, was founded in 1948 with direct influence from Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

While the Russian government has moved beyond the ideology of the Soviet-era, figures such as Stalin remain in use as cultural symbols of pride. Putin has repeatedly championed the international bonds forged among Russia, China, North Korea and other nations formed around communism.

“In his op-ed, Putin made the case for […] Russia and North Korea to join forces in ‘opposing’ the ‘collective West,'” former U.S. Defense intel officer and strategic military analyst Rebekah Koffler told Fox News Digital. 

In the piece, Putin accused the U.S. of “seeking to impose on the world […] a global neo-colonial dictatorship based on double standards.”

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Putin North KOrea

“Putin will use these U.S. foes to supplement Russia’s weapons arsenal and to help unbalance Washington, in order to slow down and disrupt its decision-making, especially during a crisis,” Koffler told Fox News Digital.

Anthony Ruggiero of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies told Fox News Digital that the trip bolsters the credibility of international reports that “Kim Jong Un plays a pivotal role in Russia’s war in Ukraine.” 

“The Biden administration should increase implementation of existing U.S. sanctions on North Korea, including targeting its revenue generation and sanctions evaders,” Ruggiero told Fox News Digital.

He added, “Kim is comfortable with the current situation, which allows him to help Putin and continue Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development. The Biden administration should increase pressure on Pyongyang and its enablers in Russia and China.”

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shake hands

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been enthusiastic in building associations with Russia and China in order to build international legitimacy despite his country’s dismal human rights record.

Putin last visited North Korea in 2000, when the hereditary dictatorship was under the control of Kim Jong Un’s father, Kim Jong Il.

The Kim family – sometimes referred to as the Mount Paektu bloodline – is the hereditary dictatorship of the country founded by communist revolutionary Kim Il Sung. 

North Korea operates under the state ideology of Juche, a quasi-communist worldview founded on a cult of personality and enthusiastic nationalism.

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