Russian President Vladimir Putin on Aug. 15 reportedly wrote to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un urging stronger bilateral relations between their countries, according to Pyongyang’s official state media.
In a letter to Kim honoring the Korean Peninsula’s freedom from Japanese colonial rule, Putin reportedly said that Russia and North Korea should “expand the comprehensive and constructive bilateral relations with common efforts.”
Russian officials haven’t confirmed the authenticity of the reports.
North Korean state-run Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) claims that in the letter, Putin conveyed to Kim that their closer relations would “contribute to strengthening the security and stability of the Korean peninsula and the Northeast Asian region.”
Kim said that strategic and tactical cooperation between the two nations had reached a new level, with common efforts to frustrate military threats and provocation posed by “hostile forces.” He also expressed confidence that their cooperative relations would “grow stronger in all fields” following an agreement he signed with Putin in 2019, KCNA stated.
While the report didn’t identify which hostile forces Kim was referring to, North Korea has accused the United States and its allies of imposing “hostile policies” against Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea.
Russia, China Block UN SanctionsSince 2006, North Korea has been subject to U.N. sanctions, which the U.N. Security Council has steadily increased over the years in a bid to cut off funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said she was disappointed by the vetoes from Russia and China, which hadn’t blocked any of the prior nine sanction votes since 2006.
North Korea has conducted a series of missile launches in 2022, including one involving its largest intercontinental ballistic missile, the Hwasong-17, all of which are banned under U.N. Security Council resolutions on Pyongyang’s missile program.