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Putin Strengthens Bonds with North Korea Amid NATO Tensions

Daniel Kim Views  

Reuters/News1

As Russian President Vladimir Putin is visiting Pyongyang for the first time in 24 years, Chinese state media has argued that North Korea and Russia’s close relationship is a rational choice in the face of pressure from the United States and its allies.

On June 19, the Global Times cited domestic analysts and reported, “The long-term blockade and pressure from the U.S. and its allies will automatically lead them to jointly respond to the common threat of U.S.-led alliances, whether in Europe or Northeast Asia,” and asserted that “the close relationship between Russia and North Korea is a rational choice.”

The Global Times highlighted Putin’s decision to sign a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement with North Korea the day before, as well as points mentioned in the Rodong Sinmun article about building an equal and indivisible security structure in Eurasia, developing a trade and mutual payment system not controlled by the West, and joint opposition to unilateral illegal restrictive measures. It then quoted domestic experts saying, “This visit will elevate the Russia-North Korean relationship to a new level.”

Wang Junsheng, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said, “Given NATO’s expansion in Europe, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, and U.S.-led military alliances targeting North Korea in Northeast Asia, deeper cooperation between Russia and North Korea is not surprising.”

Cui Heng, a researcher at the Russian Research Center of East China Normal University, evaluated, “Meaningful cooperation between Russia and North Korea can worry or even frighten the United States,” adding, “This means that the U.S. approach to weaken and isolate these two countries over the past few decades has failed, and they are becoming stronger through closer ties and cooperation.”

The Global Times argued, “U.S. policymakers must realize that the United States cannot command everything or force acceptance of its hegemonic values on right and wrong,” adding, “The more the United States tries to interfere with other countries, the more it will expose its vulnerabilities to the world.”

In a separate article on the China-South Korea vice-ministerial diplomatic security dialogue held in Seoul on the day of Putin’s visit to Pyongyang, the Global Times quoted Da Zhigang, Director of the Northeast Asia Research Institute of the Heilongjiang Academy of Social Sciences, saying, “Although it’s a bilateral mechanism, communication on security issues between China and South Korea carries significance beyond bilateral level amid the protracted Russia-Ukraine conflict and heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula.”

Da emphasized, “The close communication and cooperation between China and South Korea can offset the malicious noise promoting factional confrontation and a new cold war in Northeast Asia to some extent.”

Meanwhile, the Global Times evaluated the China-South Korea diplomatic security dialogue held in Seoul on June 18, reporting, “It is a concrete sign that China-South Korea relations are rising from the bottom due to joint efforts.”

In response, Dong Xiangrong, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said, “The elevation of the level of this dialogue is a decision made by the governments of both countries considering the importance of China-South Korea relations and the urgency changes in the regional situation,” adding, “This dialogue will contribute to avoiding misunderstandings by understanding each other’s basic perceptions and strategic intentions.”

Dong further stated, “The diplomatic security dialogue will play a positive role in forming a specific consensus, resolving differences, and finding common ground as a strategic consultation platform between the two countries,” adding, “It will also serve the role of crisis prevention and management.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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