North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin have exchanged another set of letters – a month after Kim made a rare trip to Russia – with Kim wishing Putin victory over “imperialists’ anti-Russia scheme” and both men lauding their two countries’ deepening ties.
The exchange of letters marked the 75th anniversary of bilateral relations, North Korean state media KCNA reported on Thursday.
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In his letter, Kim said he was “very satisfied” with the talks that had taken place in Russia, describing the discussions as “candid [and] comprehensive”. He promised to bring relations to a “new height” and wished Putin victory in his struggle to “frustrat[e] the imperialists’ persistent hegemonic policy and moves to isolate and stifle Russia”.
Moscow and Pyongyang, both increasingly isolated amid severe international sanctions, have drawn closer since the Kremlin launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year.
Last month, Kim travelled to Russia’s far east for a summit with Putin amid concern Pyongyang was preparing to provide arms to Russia’s military in exchange for weapons technology banned under United Nations resolutions over its nuclear weapons programme.
In his latest letter, Putin said the summit was further evidence that the two countries’ bilateral relationship continued to “positively develop in all aspects on the basis of the glorious traditions of the past.”
The Soviet Union, which was dominated by Russia, established diplomatic ties with North Korea on October 12, 1948, the first country to recognise North Korea as a state.
The United States has accused North Korea of providing weapons to Russia for use in Ukraine, including artillery shells, shoulder-fired rockets and missiles.
Pyongyang and Moscow have denied any arms transactions.
In a separate statement on Thursday, North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Im Chon-il reaffirmed the country’s support for Russia over Ukraine, describing the war as a “righteous” struggle under which Moscow was defending its strategic security and interests.
Kim and Putin also exchanged letters in August to mark the 78th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule.
On that occasion, Kim promised to develop a “long-standing strategic relationship” with Russia.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies