“Putin is shaping the environment and conversation in Europe and in East Asia and after Vietnam, he’ll be shaping it in Southeast Asia,”


Pyongyang (ANN)- A pact between the North Korean leader and Russian President Vladimir Putin could scramble the balance of power in East Asia and make it even more difficult to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions. Said in the report Published by NBC News, and quoted, Victor Cha, who commented on the political move in Putun to North Korea.

Two leadrs,  Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un are taking their relationship to the next level — one with security implications that go far beyond their two countries.

Related: Putin and Kim Jong Un will meet in North Korea, supporter of Russia’s war in Ukraine

On Wednesday, during a rare visit to North Korea by the Russian president, the two leaders signed a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement that included a pledge to “provide mutual assistance in case of aggression.”

The pact, which comes as Putin is seeking greater assistance from North Korea in his war against Ukraine, has the potential to scramble the balance of power in East Asia, reinforcing growing security ties between the United States and its allies South Korea and Japan, and raising tough questions for China.

The pact also makes it even more difficult to halt North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, which include ballistic missiles capable of reaching the continental U.S.

The agreement requires both Russia and North Korea to provide immediate military assistance if the other country is the subject of armed aggression, essentially reviving a 1961 mutual defense agreement that was replaced by a much weaker one in 2000.

“It’s certainly the closest they have been since the Cold War,” said Victor Cha, senior vice president for Asia and Korea chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank in Washington. “They both are claiming that their security is coupled together.”

China, which is North Korea’s biggest trading partner and is also growing closer to Russia, has been muted in its response to Putin’s North Korea visit, which put it in a “difficult position,” Cha said.

Beijing is less ostracized than Pyongyang and Moscow, and is unlikely to risk its relations with other parts of the world to fully join forces with Kim and Putin.

“They care about what Europe thinks,” Cha said, “and North Koreans and Russians together are killing Europeans” in Ukraine.

Putin continued to look for support elsewhere Thursday during his state visit to Vietnam, which tries to be neutral in its foreign policy and has refrained from condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The U.S., which upgraded its relationship with Vietnam last September, has rebuked Vietnam over the visit.

The two-nation Asia tour is a boost for Putin as he finds himself increasingly isolated internationally, Cha said.

“Putin is shaping the environment and conversation in Europe and in East Asia and after Vietnam, he’ll be shaping it in Southeast Asia,” he said.

“He actually likes this, and for him it shows that Russia is back.” Read more on the topic: Kim Jong Un takes his relationship with Putin, maybe his nuclear program to a new level.