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Putin Says Russia May Deliver Weapons to North Korea

Editor

Laila Afifa

21 June 2024 08:37 WIB

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un attend a state reception in Pyongyang, North Korea June 19, 2024. Sputnik/Vladimir Smirnov/Pool via REUTERS

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, June 20, that Russia might supply weapons to North Korea in what he suggested would be a mirror response to the Western arming of Ukraine.

Putin was speaking to reporters in Vietnam, a day after visiting nuclear-armed North Korea and signing a mutual defence agreement with its leader, Kim Jong Un.

Western countries have shunned North Korea as a pariah state because of its development of nuclear and ballistic missiles in defiance of U.N. sanctions, and view the growing ties between Moscow and Pyongyang with concern.

Putin threatened earlier this month that Russia might supply arms to Western adversaries because the West was providing high-precision weapons to Ukraine and giving it permission to fire them at targets inside Russia.

In his latest comments, he said North Korea could be one such recipient of Russian arms.

"I said, including in Pyongyang, that we then reserve the right to supply weapons to other regions of the world. Taking into account our agreements with (North Korea), I do not exclude this either," he said.

The treaty signed by Putin and Kim on Wednesday commits each side to provide immediate military assistance to the other in the event of armed aggression against either one of them.

Putin said Moscow expected that its cooperation with North Korea would serve as a deterrent to the West, but that there was no need to use North Korean soldiers for the war in Ukraine.

"Regarding the possibility of somehow using each other’s capabilities in the conflict in Ukraine, we are not asking anyone for this, no one has offered us this, therefore there is no need," he said.

The United States and Ukraine say North Korea has already provided Russia with significant quantities of artillery shells and ballistic missiles, which Moscow and Pyongyang deny.



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