Putin calls for closer cooperation with North Korea in message to Kim: Kremlin

Kremlin says Russia in a 'state of war' in Ukraine
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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday urged Moscow and Pyongyang to deepen ties, in a congratulatory message to the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un marking the country’s National Liberation Day.

Russia and North Korea — both increasingly isolated from the West and weighted with sanctions — have drawn closer since the Kremlin deployed troops to Ukraine and commenced large-scale hostilities last year.

“I am sure that we will continue to build up bilateral cooperation in all areas for the benefit of our peoples, in the interests of strengthening stability and security on the Korean Peninsula and in the Northeast Asian region as a whole,” Putin said in a statement distributed by the Kremlin.

Putin said that it was during Korea’s liberation from Japan and “harsh wartime” that groundwork was laid for close cooperation between Moscow and Pyongyang.

The Russian leader’s statement came after his Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu last month hailed his country’s partnership with North Korea during a meeting with his counterpart Kang Sun Nam in Pyongyang.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken responded to the visit saying that the United States believed Shoigu was in North Korea to secure supplies of weapons to aid Russian forces fighting in Ukraine.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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