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In a historic move reminiscent of the Soviet era, Russia and North Korea have signed a mutual defense agreement. Just a week earlier, Russian nuclear submarines patrolled the coast of Cuba. It was hoped that these verdicts, which reflect the height of the Cold War, would not be imposed after 1991. But as the West continues to increase its military support for Ukraine, the specter of nuclear war has returned to haunt the world.

The Russian president was not bluffing when he threatened to arm regions against the US and its NATO allies, as they have done in Ukraine. During his first visit to Pyongyang since July 2000, Putin explicitly linked Russia’s deepening ties with North Korea to the West’s growing support for Ukraine, while codifying bilateral economic cooperation that had grown rapidly since the war. This new agreement, the full text of which has yet to be published, includes a clause on mutual defense in the event of aggression against either country. This mirrors the operational clause in the NATO agreement and effectively guarantees that any direct action by a NATO member against Russia will spill over into the Pacific, turning the conflict into a two-front war.

Even more importantly, according to Putin: “Russia does not rule out the development of military-technical cooperation with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” This means that advanced Russian technology, including its work on hypersonic ballistic missiles, could soon propel North Korean nuclear warheads – a dangerous scenario for the US and its allies in the region, South Korea and Japan.

As trilateral military and economic cooperation between Russia, China and North Korea deepens, a new Asian military bloc is rapidly taking shape, at the expense of the US-backed world order.


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