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Putin claims new North Korea defence pact is ‘peaceful’ – latest war updates



Putin claims new North Korea defence pact is ‘peaceful’ – latest war updates

Zelensky says China trying to undermine Ukraine peace summit

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has insisted a new partnership struck with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un – including a mutual defence clause – is “peaceful”, according to state news.

Mr Kim hailed the new agreement struck during Mr Putin’s first visit to Pyongyang in 24 years as heralding a “new, high level of alliance” between their countries, and claimed it would “become a driving force accelerating the creation of a new multipolar world”.

The details of the partnership were not immediately clear, but Western nations have expressed growing concern over an arms arrangement in which Moscow receives ammuntion for its war in Ukraine in exchange for economic and technology assistance which could enhance the threat of North Korea’s nuclear programme.

Mr Putin was received with much pomp in North Korea, where Mr Kim promised his full support for Russia’s war in Ukraine ahead of their one-on-one meeting.

The visit looks to cast a shadow over the mammoth peace talks held by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in Switzerland over the weekend. Nearly 80 nations agreed that peace talks will begin only after Russia restores Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

Russia says it has wide scope to retaliate over plan to seize income from its assets

Russia has “significant amounts” of Western assets and property that it could target in retaliation if the West seizes income from Russian assets, foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has threatened.

At last week’s Italy summit, G7 leaders agreed to use interest from Russian assets frozen in the West to provide a $50 billion loan to Ukraine.

Russia says the action is illegal and will rebound against the West by undermining confidence in the global financial system.

“Our country has significant amounts of Western funds and property that are under Russian jurisdiction; all of this may be subject to Russian retaliatory policies and retaliatory actions,” Ms Zakharova told reporters.

“Of course, no one will disclose the nature of these retaliatory actions to you. But the arsenal of political and economic countermeasures is wide.”

Andy Gregory19 June 2024 12:29

France’s far-right leader Bardella says he backs Ukraine’s right to defend itself

French far-right leader Jordan Bardella has insisted that he backs Ukraine’s right to defend itself but that – if elected prime minister in France’s upcoming elections– he would not provide Kyiv with missiles to strike Russia’s territory.

Mr Bardella, whose National Rally party is leading in opinion polls ahead of the looming election, also said he would standby France’s commitments to the Nato military alliance.

“I wish for Ukraine to have at disposal the ammunition and equipment it needs to hold the front, but my red line will not change, which is sending equipment that could have consequences of escalation in eastern Europe,” Mr Bardella told reporters at the Eurosatory arms fair near Paris.

“And so I don’t plan to send, especially, long-range missiles or other weapons that will allow Ukraine to strike the Russian territory. My position has not changed and will not change – it’s about support for Ukraine and avoiding all risks of escalation in the region. And I think the risk of escalation is of course real.”

Even if the RN was to run France’s government, Emmanuel Macron would remain as president, and the head of France’s army. But the constitution also gives the prime minister a role in terms of defence, with parliamentary backing also needed to secure future aid for Ukraine.


Andy Gregory19 June 2024 12:15

Putin drives Kim in Russian-built limousine

Vladimir Putin has driven North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in a luxury Russian-built Aurus limousine during his visit to Pyongyang, Russian state TV reported.

Mr Putin presented Kim with an Aurus limousine, a tea set and an admiral’s dirk, Russia’s state news agency Tass quoted a Kremlin aide as saying.

Andy Gregory19 June 2024 11:49

North Korean-Russian relations reach ‘new, high level of alliance’, says Kim Jong Un

Relations between North Korea and Russia had risen to “a new, high level of alliance”, dictatorial leader Kim Jong Un has said.

At the summit with Vladimir Putin in Pyongyang, Mr Kim said a new strategic partnership pact signed by the two leaders marked a significant and historic moment in the countries’ relations.

Andy Gregory19 June 2024 11:12

Russia-North Korea pact includes mutual defence clause, says Putin

The strategic partnership pact signed today by Russia and North Korea includes a mutual defence clause under which each country agrees to help the other repel external aggression, Russian president Vladimir Putin said.

“The comprehensive partnership agreement signed today provides, among other things, for mutual assistance in the event of aggression against one of the parties to this agreement,” Mr Putin was quoted as saying by state news agency Tass.

Russia has suffered missile attacks within its own territory following its full-scale invasion of neighbouring Ukraine in February 2022.

Andy Gregory19 June 2024 10:39

Russian-North Korean partnership is defensive in nature, Putin says

Vladimir Putin said a parnership agreement he signed with Kim Jong Un on Wednesday was defensive in nature, Russian state news agency TASS said.

Following talks which Mr Putin said had covered security and international issues, the Russian president was quoted as telling reporters that North Korea had a right to defend itself.

Andy Gregory19 June 2024 10:37

Putin trip to Vietnam completes visits by ‘Big Three’ for Hanoi, says analyst

Vietnam has its reasons to risk the ire of diplomatic partners such as the US and EU with Vladimir Putin, an analyst has said.

“Hanoi wants Putin to come for several reasons,” Ian Storey, a senior fellow at the Singapore-based ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute told Reuters. “First, to demonstrate that Vietnam pursues a balanced foreign policy that does not favour any of the major powers.”

Vietnam pursues what it calls “bamboo diplomacy”, maintaining good relations with world powers, despite those powers’ animosity toward one another.

Noting that US president Joe Biden visited Vietnam followed by Chinese president Xi Jinping a few months later, Mr Storey said: “Putin’s visit will complete leadership visits by the ‘Big Three’.”

Andy Gregory19 June 2024 09:54

Russian court sentences US soldier to nearly 4 years on theft charges

A court in Russia’s far eastern city of Vladivostok has sentenced an American soldier arrested earlier this year to three years and nine months in prison on charges of stealing and threats of murder, Russian news reports said.

Staff Sgt Gordon Black, 34, flew to Vladivostok to see his girlfriend and was arrested after she accused him of stealing from her, according to US officials and Russian authorities.

Russian state news agencies Tass and RIA Novosti reported from the courtroom that the judge also ordered Black to pay 10,000 rubles (£95) in damages. Prosecutors had asked for Black to be sentenced to four years and eight months in prison.

Black’s sentencing further complicates US relations with Russia, which have grown increasingly tense as the fighting in Ukraine continues.

AP news wire19 June 2024 09:35

Watch: Kim Jong-un greets Putin on red carpet as he makes first trip to North Korea in 24 years

Kim Jong-un greets Putin on red carpet as he makes first trip to North Korea in 24 years

Andy Gregory19 June 2024 09:19

Russian interference could ‘ramp up dramatically’ ahead of UK election, senior US senator warns

Russian interference in the UK general election will likely “ramp up dramatically” prior to voting day, the chair of the US senate intelligence committee has warned.

Senator Mark Warner, who is regularly briefed on US intelligence, said Washington was “closely monitoring” the situation in Britain, adding: “Clearly, Russia does not like the fact that the U.K. has been as stalwart as they have been in terms of defence on Ukraine.”

While US intelligences services are yet to see much activity indicating Russian interference in Britain’s upcoming vote on 4 July, Mr Warner said: “The chances are, as we saw in the past, this activity ramps up dramatically the closer it gets to the election.”

He added: “It clearly meets Putin’s plans if he can lessen the British or the Americans’ resolve for supporting Ukraine, he can save some money on his tanks, guns, ships, and planes if he can diminish support.”

Speaking at a Christian Science Monitor event, Mr Warner reportedly claimed that Russia was “sowing discontent or trying to pit groups against each other [to] further social division” in the UK, and singled out Nigel Farage as he described Mr Putin’s potential efforts to exploit political differences on Ukraine’s defence.

Andy Gregory19 June 2024 08:53

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