FM Cho discusses Russia-N.K. treaty with Blinken, Kamikawa

June 21, 2024

Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul spoke by phone with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa on Friday and discussed ways to respond after Russia and North Korea signed a treaty expanding military and economic cooperation.

Tensions are rising after Moscow and Pyongyang signed the “comprehensive strategic partnership” treaty, seen as a restoration of their Cold War-era alliance, at their leaders’ summit in Pyongyang earlier this week.

The treaty states that if either of the two gets invaded or put in a state of war, the other side will provide military and other assistance “with all means” at its disposal and “without delay.”

Cho and Blinken said that the agreement to strengthen mutual military and economic cooperation through the treaty “poses a significant threat to the security of both South Korea and the United States,” and “seriously undermines peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the region,” the ministry said in a release.

“They strongly condemned this agreement,” the ministry said.

In the separate phone talks with Kamikawa, the two ministers expressed “grave concerns” over deepening military and economic ties between North Korea and Russia.

Cho had the phone talks from New York, where he has been visiting this week to attend a U.N. session.

Cho called for Seoul and Washington to work closely together and take the initiative for a stern response from the international community. Cho explained to Blinken countermeasures Seoul will take, such as additional sanctions on North Korea and export controls against Russia.

Blinken said that Washington will “consider various ways to respond” to the threats posed by Moscow and Pyongyang in relation to the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and beyond.

Blinken also said that the U.S. “actively supports South Korea’s fair actions” against security threats.

The two sides also agreed to make efforts to strengthen the extended deterrence and the trilateral security cooperation with Japan in order to better cope with the North’s nuclear and missile threats.

Kamikawa concurred with Cho and agreed to continue consultations bilaterally, and trilaterally with the U.S., to enable more effective responses to the North’s deepening ties with Russia and its evolving nuclear and missile threats.