A New North Korea-Russia Alliance

On 19 June Putin and Kim Jong-un signed a new mutual defence pact. This represents  elevating relations between the two countries, who have been engaging in closer economic and military trade in recent times. After the signing, Jong-un stated that the deal was the “strongest ever treaty” signed between North Korea and Russia, and he expressed “unconditional support” for Russia’s policies. As part of this pact, a ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’ treaty was agreed, where both countries pledged to provide immediate military assistance in the case that either one of them was attacked. The response from many nations to this new pact has been one of concern, particularly oriented around what this may mean for the nuclear threat, and for the war in Ukraine.

Key Judgment 1. It is unlikely that North Korea will send military personnel to actively fight against Ukraine.

Key Judgment 2. It is highly likely that there will be increased cooperation on advanced military technology and weapons provisions between Russia and North Korea.

Key Judgment 3. It is highly likely that the US will take significant steps to strengthen its relations with its Northeast Asian allies. 

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