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A timeline of Russia-North Korea relations ahead of Putin's meeting with Kim Jong Un

After Putin's 2019 meeting with Kim Jong Un and Kim's subsequent support of Russia's Ukraine war, Russia and North Korea have grown closer, especially in military cooperation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit North Korea on Tuesday and Wednesday and hold talks with its leader, Kim Jong Un, the two countries said.  

Below is a timeline of key events in relations between Russia and North Korea over the last two decades.

Putin visits North Korea in the first year of his presidency and holds a summit meeting with Kim Jong Il, the father of the North's current leader. It is Putin's first to North Korea.


Over more than 10 years, Russia votes for nine major United Nations Security Council resolutions penalizing North Korea, including measures banning weapons trade, transfers of missile technology and shipment of luxury goods to Pyongyang.

Putin and Kim Jong Un meet in Vladivostok in the Russian Far East for their first summit.

North Korea closes its borders with Russia, and with China, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Russian diplomats and family members have to use a hand-pushed rail trolley to get over the frontier.

Russia invades Ukraine. North Korea backs Moscow, blaming the "hegemonic policy" and "high-handedness" of the United States and the West.

Russia and China veto a U.S.-drafted resolution that would have imposed more sanctions on North Korea such as bans on tobacco and oil imports, publicly splitting the U.N. Security Council on the North Korea issue for the first time.

Russia's then defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, visits Pyongyang and is given a tour of a defense expo by Kim that featured North Korea's banned ballistic missiles.

Kim travels to the Russian Far East for a second summit with Putin. They discuss military cooperation, the war in Ukraine and Russian help for North Korea's satellite program, according to both leaders.

The United States accuses North Korea of sending weapons to Russia. Moscow and Pyongyang later deny the allegations.

North Korea places its first successful spy satellite into orbit. South Korea says it is possible that Russia provided technical help.

The U.S. says Russia has used short-range ballistic missiles sourced from North Korea in multiple strikes against Ukraine. This is later confirmed by independent experts and U.N. sanctions monitors.

Russia vetoes the renewal of the U.N. panel tasked with monitoring sanctions imposed on North Korea related to its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

The U.S. and Britain impose sanctions on Russian entities accused of facilitating arms transfers with North Korea.

The dates for Putin's second visit to North Korea.

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