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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin have commemorated 75 years of bilateral relations with an exchange of letters.
The North Korean state media outlet KCNA highlighted this on Thursday, noting Kim’s appreciation for their “candid [and] comprehensive” discussions in Russia. He also expressed a desire to elevate their relationship further and conveyed his support for Putin against the “imperialists’ persistent hegemonic policy and moves to isolate and stifle Russia.”
The strengthening bond between the two countries, both facing international sanctions, has been particularly evident since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the previous year.
Kim’s recent visit to Russia spurred speculations regarding potential military cooperation, specifically Pyongyang potentially supplying arms to Russia in exchange for prohibited weapons technology. After discussions, both leaders confirmed that topics like North Korea’s satellite program and the Ukrainian conflict were on the table. Putin’s letter emphasized the continual positive development of their bilateral relationship “based on the glorious traditions of the past.”
While accusations have been made by the U.S. concerning North Korea supplying weapons to Russia for use in the Ukrainian conflict, both nations have refuted these claims. North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister, Im Chon-il, solidified Pyongyang’s stance by praising Russia’s involvement in Ukraine as a “righteous” endeavor.