On June 12, on the occasion of Russia’s national holiday, Kim Jong Un sent a message to President Vladimir Putin, in which he stressed that the improvement of cooperation would be “in line with the common desire of the peoples of both countries,” the North Korean state news agency KCNA reads in a statement. Kim also praised the “achievements of the strong and wise Russian people” and the decision of Putin, who “undertook the fight to eliminate the growing threat from hostile forces seeking to deprive Russia of its sovereignty, security and peaceful life.” The Korean tyrant also stated that the current fighting has entered a new, decisive phase. “It is certain that justice will prevail and that the Russian people will continue to bring glory to the history of victory,” Kim stated in his message, while stressing his full support and solidarity with Russia. in its open struggle to preserve the country’s sovereign rights, development and interests against the arbitrary and excessive practices of the imperialists.” Finally, Kim noted that the friendship between the two countries is a “valuable strategic tool” and reiterated that Pyongyang strives to “continuously develop cooperation and good neighborly relations in line with the requirements of the new era.” North Korea has sought to establish closer ties with the Kremlin and backed Moscow after it invaded Ukraine last year, blaming the war on the “hegemonic policies” and “overlordship” of the US and the West. A spokesperson for the US State Department said that despite Pyongyang’s denials, the US confirmed that North Korea had been supplying weapons to Wagner mercenaries in November 2022 and expressed concern that Kim Jong Un plans to supply Russia with more military equipment. In March this year The United States said it has new information indicating that Russia is seeking to procure additional weapons from North Korea in exchange for food aid. Russia appears to have turned to North Korea and other “rogue” countries in a desperate attempt to circumvent sanctions and export controls in order to secure the supply of arms it needs to continue its war with Ukraine. Kim, who first met with Putin in 2019, called for “closer strategic cooperation” between Pyongyang and Moscow, adding that he would “hold the Russian leader’s hand firmly” in the common goal of building a “powerful country.” North Korea has caused international concern with its apparent attempts to get closer to the Kremlin. Putin has responded favorably to Kim’s overtures by calling for closer ties. In an exchange of letters last August on Liberation Day – when Korea was liberated from Japanese colonial rule in 1945 – Putin said that Russia and North Korea would “continue to expand comprehensive and constructive bilateral relations” to enhance security and stability in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. In July 2022, North Korea recognized two Russian-backed breakaway “people’s republics” in eastern Ukraine as independent states. Interestingly, only North Korea and Syria recognize these Russian annexations. But, as they say, he goes after his own and Putin has the friends he deserves. Source: theguardian.com
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