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North Korean Elite Military Personnel Arrives to Russia As Countries Strengthen Ties

North Korean Elite Military Personnel Arrives to Russia As Countries Strengthen Ties
North Korean military officers march during a welcoming ceremony, June 19, 2024, in Pyongyang, North Korea during Vladimir Putin’s visit. Source: Getty Images

North Korea sent a delegation of its elite military personnel to Russia, signaling closer military ties between the two countries. This marks the first visit by North Korean soldiers since Moscow and Pyongyang agreed on cooperation.

The delegation, led by Kim Geum Chol, rector of the Kim Il Sung Military University, arrived in Russia according to North Korea’s KCNA news agency, reported by Reuters. The purpose of the visit and the soldiers' origin remain undisclosed.

The university serves as a training ground for elite military officers. The country’s current leader, Kim Jong Un, attended the institution after studying in Switzerland during stepping into the role of the nation’s third leader.

This follows a year of frequent high-level exchanges between the two nations, including Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s visit to Pyongyang in June, and signing agreement for a “comprehensive strategic partnership,” which includes provisions for mutual assistance in the event of aggression against either party.

South Korean broadcaster TV Chosun, citing unnamed sources, reported North Korea’s potential deployment of engineering troops to Russian-occupied areas of Donetsk. Allegedly, these troops would arrive in July to assist with reconstruction efforts. However, the Pentagon has not verified these claims of North Korean troop deployment to Ukraine.

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