Russian President Vladimir Putin has told North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that the two countries will expand their bilateral relations with “common efforts”, Pyongyang state media reported on Monday.
In a letter sent to Kim on the occasion of Korea’s Liberation Day – which commemorates the end of Japanese colonial rule – Putin stressed that the two countries share a tradition of friendship and bilateral cooperation, according to North Korean news agency KCNA.
The Russian leader said closer ties would be in the interests of both North Korea and Russia, and that this would help strengthen the security and stability of the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia, according to KCNA.
Largely isolated, North Korea has declared support for Moscow since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
In July, North Korea followed Russia and Syria recognized the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, located in eastern Ukraine and supported by Moscow, as independent states. The move led Kiev to cut diplomatic ties with Pyongyang.
North Korean officials have raised the possibility of workers from the country being sent to areas in eastern Ukraine to help with construction and other activities.
Kim also praises bilateral cooperation
According to KCNA, Kim also sent a letter to Putin, in which he claims that the friendship between the two countries was sealed in World War II with the Allied victory over Japan, which had occupied the Korean peninsula.
Since then, “strategic and tactical cooperation, support and solidarity” between Russia and North Korea has reached a new level in their common efforts to thwart threats and provocations from hostile military forces, Kim said in the letter. KCNA has not identified such hostile forces, but commonly uses the term to refer to the United States and its allies.
Kim predicted that bilateral cooperation would grow “in all areas” based on an agreement signed in 2019 when he met with Putin.
Vladimir Putin during a meeting with Russian lawmakers, July 7, 2022 — Photo: Sputnik/Aleksey Nikolskyi/Kremlin via Reuters
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