SEOUL: A Russian government delegation, led by Alexander Kozlov, the Minister of Natural Resources, concluded a two-day visit to Pyongyang, pledging to “comprehensively strengthen ties” with North Korea. The visit has caused concerns in Washington and Seoul, particularly regarding the increasing military and economic cooperation between Russia and North Korea.
Amidst heightened tensions, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned about the “growing and dangerous” ties between Pyongyang and Moscow. He urged North Korea’s ally, China, to play a restraining role on the nuclear-armed country.
Minister Alexander Kozlov stated on Friday that the discussions between the two nations covered various aspects, including trade, education, sports, and culture. In a social media post, he expressed the Russian mindset to enhance ties comprehensively with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), using North Korea’s official acronym.
The Russian delegation arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday and concluded its visit on Thursday, as reported by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). The departure was marked by the fluttering of Russian and North Korean flags at the Pyongyang airport, with high-level North Korean officials seeing off the delegation.
Both Russia and North Korea, as historic allies, are subject to international sanctions. Russia faces sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine, while North Korea is under sanctions due to its nuclear weapons and missile programs.