Putin in Pyongyang: a return to the Cold War days?

Isolation and anti-Western agenda pushes dictators into deepening military alliance that 'undermines the security of Europe, Asia and the US'

Photo composite of Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-Un and Pyongyang architecture
Since their first summit, the two leaders have developed what Kim recently called an 'unbreakable relationship of comrades-in-arms'
(Image credit: Illustration by Stephen Kelly / Shutterstock / Getty Images / Roscongress Press Service)

It may evoke the darkest days of the Cold War, but Vladimir Putin's visit to North Korea this week also elucidates a very contemporary – and hardening – alliance.

The Russian president touched down in Pyongyang on Tuesday for a two-day "friendly state visit" to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), his first trip to the hermit kingdom since 2000. Ahead of the trip, Putin promised to "build an architecture of equal and indivisible security in Eurasia". The vow came days after the US and EU agreed at the G7 summit to provide Ukraine with a $50 billion (£39 billion) loan using interest from frozen Russian assets. 

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Elliott Goat is a freelance writer at The Week Digital. A winner of The Independent's Wyn Harness Award, he has been a journalist for over a decade with a focus on human rights, disinformation and elections. He is co-founder and director of Brussels-based investigative NGO Unhack Democracy, which works to support electoral integrity across Europe. A Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow focusing on unions and the Future of Work, Elliott is a founding member of the RSA's Good Work Guild and a contributor to the International State Crime Initiative, an interdisciplinary forum for research, reportage and training on state violence and corruption.