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N. Korean leader sends congratulatory message to Putin on Victory Day occasion

15:19 May 09, 2023

SEOUL, May 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has sent a congratulatory message to Russian President Vladimir Putin over Moscow's celebration of its Victory Day holiday, Pyongyang's state media reported Tuesday.

In the message sent on the anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, Kim said Russia would "smash all challenges and threats by hostile forces," the North's Korean Central News Agency said in an English-language dispatch.

Kim added Moscow has taken on a "sacred struggle to realize international justice" against the "arbitrary practices of the imperialists."

The remarks were seen as signaling Pyongyang's support of Russia in its war with Ukraine.

The North has been strengthening its close ties with Russia despite international condemnation toward Moscow over the Ukrainian war. The North has denied allegations of having provided arms to Moscow for use in the conflict.

North Korean arms exports are banned under U.N. Security Council resolutions over the country's nuclear and missile programs.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) toasts Russian President Vladimir Putin during a post-summit dinner at the Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, Russia, on April 25, 2019, in this file photo carried by the Korean Central News Agency the next day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)



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