An opaque new treaty that Russian President President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed this week — which includes a mutual defense pledge and military assistance — has unnerved the United States, Japan and South Korea. But it is also galvanizing closer trilateral security cooperation and support for war-torn Ukraine.

Kim and Putin praised the agreement after their summit in Pyongyang on Wednesday, with the North Korean leader saying it amounted to a de facto “alliance” and the Russian president labeling it a “breakthrough document.”

But breathless exhortations by the two strongmen that the pact will usher in a new era of ties and set the stage for a “multipolar” world are unlikely to materialize any time soon.