Putin may visit North Korea soon, Pyongyang says

Pyongyang officials said Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin may visit their North Korea at an “early date.”

The North Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement published by state media KCNA on Sunday that Putin intends to visit North Korea at an “early date”, saying that Putin “expressed deep thanks” to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for extending the invitation. The statement came after North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui met with Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow last week.

The statement said the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) “warmly welcomes” Putin to visit Pyongyang. The Associated Press noted that Putin had previously expressed interest in September in visiting Pyongyang at a convenient time.

Russian and North Korean officials expressed “their strong will to further strengthen strategic and tactical cooperation in defending the core interests of the two countries,” according to the statement.

It also said the officials “recognized that the friendly and cooperative relations” between their two countries “serve as a powerful strategic fortress and a traction engine in defending international peace and security.”

Both Russian and North Korean officials “expressed serious concern over the negative influence of the US and its allied forces’ irresponsible and unjust provocative acts,” the statement read. Since the onset of the war in Ukraine, North Korea’s Kim has publicly supported Russia’s invasion of the country.

The statement said Russian officials “expressed deep thanks to the DPRK” for its support of Russia’s war in Ukraine. This comes as Russia and North Korea have faced global accusations of alleged arms cooperation with each other that both countries have denied, according to the AP.

The Associated Press contributed reporting.

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