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N. Korean leader congratulates Putin on reelection

March 18, 2024 - 21:43 By Yonhap
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shake hands during their meeting at the Vostochny cosmodrome outside the city of Tsiolkovsky, about 200 kilometers from the city of Blagoveshchensk in the far eastern Amur region, Russia on Sept. 13, 2023. North Korea has shipped around 7,000 containers filled with munitions and other military equipment to Russia since 2023 to help support its war in Ukraine, South Korea’s defense minister said Monday. (AP-Yonhap)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Monday congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin for being reelected as Moscow's leader, state media said, amid deepening military cooperation between the two nations.

Putin won a landslide victory in Russia's election Sunday for a fifth term in office, which will extend his 24-year rule for another six years.

"I am firmly convinced that, under your energetic and correct guidance, the Russian people will surely win victory in the cause of ... realizing international peace and justice and building an independent multipolar world," Kim said in the message released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in an English-language dispatch.

Kim said their summit at a Russian spaceport in September brought a "historic" turning point in bilateral relations, which he described as developing into one of "everlasting strategic" cooperation with "anti-imperialist independence as a common idea."

"I will firmly join hands with you and bring about a new era of the DPRK-Russia friendship with long historical roots and traditions in conformity with the requirements of the times and push forward with the accomplishment of the cause of building a powerful country," he said.

DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The message was delivered to Russia's foreign ministry via North Korea's top envoy to Russia, Sin Hong-chol.

Following the Kim-Putin summit in September last year, North Korea and Russia have been deepening military cooperation amid suspicions that Pyongyang has provided munitions and artillery to Moscow for use in Russia's war in Ukraine.

Kim used an Aurus Senat limousine, gifted by Putin, during last week's public event for the first time, state media reported Saturday. The KCNA said the gift is "clear proof" of the two nations' friendly ties.

Russia's sending of a luxury car to North Korea is a breach of United Nations Security Council resolutions that ban the supply, sale and transfer of luxury goods, including automobiles, to Pyongyang.