Putin, Kim pledge to provide military support in new treaty

The leaders of Russia and North Korea held a joint press conference after they signed a new treaty that includes a pledge for mutual military support.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said, "The signed treaty stipulates that our countries will provide support if the other comes under attack."

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said, "I am proud that we have come up with a strategic pact that fits into a new era."

The pair held a summit in Pyongyang on Wednesday. It was Putin's first visit to North Korea in 24 years.

In his opening remarks, Kim stressed that he supports Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Putin said the newly signed deal could expand the exchange of military technology between Moscow and Pyongyang. He also vowed that the two countries will jointly counter long-standing Western sanctions.

Kim said the new treaty is both peaceful and defensive. He added that it signifies a higher level of bilateral relations, as allies.

Putin will head to Vietnam, after he wraps up his visit to North Korea.

Meanwhile, in Tokyo, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Hayashi Yoshimasa said his government will continue to work closely with the US and South Korea. The three countries are monitoring relations between Moscow and Pyongyang.

China, a country that maintains close ties with both nations, also reacted.

China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian said, "North Korea and Russia have a need to cooperate and develop relations as friendly neighbors."

Separately on Tuesday, China held diplomatic and security talks with South Korea. The meeting was scheduled before news of Putin and Kim's summit broke.