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.