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    Kim Jong Un and Putin have upgraded their bromance, saying Russia and North Korea have reached a ‘new high of alliance’

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un pose for a photo during a signing ceremony of the new partnership in Pyongyang, North Korea.

    Kristina Kormilitsyna, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

    North Korea and Russia signed a strategic partnership upgrade on Wednesday.The agreement includes mutual defense clauses and guidelines for political and trade ties.The US has accused North Korea of arming Russia in its war against Ukraine.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin made his first visit to North Korea in 24 years on Wednesday, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un saying the two nations have upgraded their partnership to “a new high of alliance.”

    South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported that Kim made the comment during a joint news conference following the signing of a strategic partnership agreement.

    While the full text of the agreement has not yet been released, it suggests a strengthening of the relationship between the two countries, both of which are seen as major threats to the US.

    It also shows the deepening of Kim and Putin’s war bromance, which this week also saw the Russian leader once again gift his North Korean counterpart a luxury car.

    State-run Russian news agency TASS reported that North Korea returned the favor by gifting Putin several pieces of art depicting his likeness.

    According to the news agency, the new agreement includes a clause requiring the countries to come to each other’s aid in the event of aggression against either of them.

    It also sets guidelines for deepening ties in “political, trade and investment, cultural, and humanitarian fields, as well as the security sphere,” TASS reported, with Putin mentioning the possibility of “military-technical cooperation,” according to Yonhap.

    Ramon Pacheco Pardo, KF-VUB Korea Chair at the Brussels School of Governance, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, told BI that the agreement is significant, but largely confirms what we already knew about North Korea and Russia’s intentions to cooperate.

    The aggression clause, however, is the exception, he said.

    “North Korea is supporting Russia right now,” he added, “but I think more significant is that now, at least in theory, Russia will have to support North Korea.”

    “Until now, we wouldn’t have assumed this was going to be the case,” he said.

    The new document replaces a previous treaty of friendship and mutual assistance, TASS reported, as well as a 2000 treaty on bilateral ties, and the 2000 and 2001 Moscow and Pyongyang declarations.

    Russia and North Korea have developed closer ties since the launch of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

    Ukraine, the US, and the UN have accused North Korea of giving Russia millions of shells and other weapons that have been used in the fighting in Ukraine.

    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday that Russia was trying “in desperation, to develop and to strengthen relations with countries that can provide it with what it needs to continue the war of aggression that it started against Ukraine.”

    US intelligence officials told NBC News that the Biden administration is concerned that Russia might help North Korea develop its first submarine capable of launching a nuclear-armed missile.

    The White House did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

    South Korean media reported that Russia was also helping Pyongyang’s space program.

    CNN noted that while Putin did not explicitly describe the new agreement as an alliance, he acknowledged that ties between North Korea and Russia have reached a “new level.”

    Kim maintains that the agreement is “peaceful and defensive,” according to TASS.

    Read the original article on Business Insider

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