Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to visit North Korea for the first time in 24 years on Tuesday. He will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang for discussions. This visit follows their last meeting in September in Vladivostok, Russia.

The United States has expressed concern about the growing closeness between Russia and North Korea. According to the Kremlin, Putin’s trip is a “friendly state visit” and could include signing a partnership agreement covering security issues.

They will also make joint statements to the media, and a parade in Kim Il Sung Square is expected. Putin is likely to attend a concert and visit the Orthodox Church of the Life-Giving Trinity in Pyongyang, North Korea’s only orthodox church.

Reports suggest he will stay at the Kumsusan guesthouse, where Chinese President Xi Jinping stayed in 2019.

Putin will be accompanied by his new defense minister, Andrei Belousov, as well as Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.

In a North Korean newspaper article, Putin praised North Korea for supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine and promised to help defend North Korea’s interests against US pressure and threats.

He also aims to build trade and security ties with North Korea that are independent of Western control.

Kim Jong Un recently called the relationship with Russia “an unbreakable bond of comrades-in-arms.” During their meeting last year, Putin saw potential for military cooperation, and Kim wished Russia success in Ukraine.

The White House, however, is worried about the stronger ties between Russia and North Korea. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby stated their concern about this deepening relationship.

Putin’s visit follows his meeting with Kim Jong Un’s father, Kim Jong Il, in 2000, at the beginning of his presidency. Relations between Russia and North Korea have strengthened, especially since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The US and South Korea have accused North Korea of providing Russia with artillery and other military supplies, likely in exchange for food, aid, and technology, though both countries deny any arms deals.

After his North Korea visit, Putin plans to visit Vietnam, another long-time ally, to discuss trade and other issues.

This information is sourced from a BBC report.

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