Putin: Russia does not rule out supplying arms to North Korea

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he does not rule out the possibility of supplying weapons to North Korea when he takes agreements between Moscow and Pyongyang into account.

Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a treaty on Wednesday in Pyongyang. Its text made public by North Korea says the two countries will provide mutual military assistance if one of them is put in a state of war by an armed invasion.

Putin spoke at a news conference in Vietnam's capital, Hanoi, which he visited following his trip to North Korea.

He was asked by a reporter whether it can be considered an armed invasion if Ukraine is found to have attacked positions in Russian territory with Western-supplied weapons.

Putin said such a situation is close to that and Moscow is conducting an analysis. He also said Russia reserves the right to supply weapons to other parts of the world, including North Korea.

However, Putin stressed that the treaty is no different from the one concluded between the Soviet Union and North Korea.

The remark presents a contrast to Kim's assessment that relations between North Korea and Russia have reached the level of an alliance. Neither has Moscow released the contents of the treaty.