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Putin Applauds Ties with North Korea, Discusses Bilateral Relations

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in North Korea early Wednesday to commence a two-day state visit aimed at strengthening bilateral relations. This marks his second visit to the Asian country in 24 years, following his last visit during the reign of Kim Jong Il in 2000.

Upon arrival, Putin was greeted with a warm welcome ceremony at Kim Il Sung Square in the North Korean capital, where mounted soldiers, military personnel, and children holding balloons cheered amidst large portraits of both leaders. Putin and his counterpart, Kim Jong Un, introduced their respective officials and later rode together in an open-top limousine, smiling and waving to the crowds as the Russian national anthem played.

The visit underscores growing concerns in the West over the deepening ties and military cooperation between Russia and North Korea, especially since Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

In remarks ahead of talks between the two, Kim voiced his “full support and solidarity with the struggles of the Russian government, military and the people,” pointing specifically to Moscow’s war in Ukraine “to protect its own sovereignty, safety and territorial stability.”

“Situations continue to be complicated and ever-changing, but I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that we will continue to strengthen and closely engage in strategic communication with the (Russian) leadership,” Kim added.

Putin hailed the countries’ ties as based on “equality and mutual respect,” and said an expected new bilateral agreement would “form the basis of relations between the two states for many years to come,” according to Russian state agency Tass. He also added that he hoped Kim would visit Moscow for their next meeting.

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Written by Charles Daisi

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