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US expresses concern as Russian President Putin pledges unwavering support to North Korea ahead of his visit

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters that the visit appeared to be part of a post-election "charm offensive" by Putin.

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US expresses concern as Russian President Putin pledges unwavering support to North Korea ahead of his visit
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The White House expressed concern on Monday at what it called a deepening relationship between Russia and North Korea as Russian President Vladimir Putin prepared to visit Pyongyang on Tuesday.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters that the visit appeared to be part of a post-election "charm offensive" by Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to build trade and security systems with North Korea that are not controlled by the West. He pledged his unwavering support in a letter published by North Korean state media on Tuesday ahead of his planned visit to the country. In the letter, printed in North Korea's Rodong Sinmun, the ruling Workers' Party mouthpiece, the Russian president said the two countries have developed good relations and partnerships over the past 70 years based on equality, mutual respect, and trust.

"We will develop alternative mechanisms of trade and mutual settlements that are not controlled by the West, and jointly resist illegitimate unilateral restrictions," Putin wrote. "And at the same time – we will build an architecture of equal and indivisible security in Eurasia." He thanked North Korea for supporting what Russia calls its special military operation in Ukraine. He vowed support for Pyongyang's efforts to defend its interests despite what he called "U.S. pressure, blackmail, and military threats".

The article was published a day after the two countries announced that Putin would visit North Korea for the first time in 24 years for two days starting on Tuesday. Putin's foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov said Russia and North Korea may sign a partnership agreement during the visit that would include security issues.

After North Korea, Putin will visit Vietnam on June 19-20.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DNA staff and is published from Reuters)

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