North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who is on a visit to Russia, has now invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to his country during their talks, reported Pyongyang’s state media KCNA (Korean Central News Agency), adding that Putin accepted the invitation.
“At the end of the reception, Kim Jong Un courteously invited Putin to visit the DPRK at a convenient time. Putin accepted the invitation with pleasure and reaffirmed his will to invariably carry forward the history and tradition of the Russia-DPRK friendship,” the state media said, as quoted by news agency Reuters.
This came after the North Korean leader vowed “full and unconditional support” for Russia on Wednesday as the two leaders who are isolated by the West held a summit. Reportedly, Kim expressed his willingness to foster stable, future-oriented relations for the next 100 years.
Making an indirect but apparent reference to the war in Ukraine, Kim said, “Russia is currently engaged in a just fight against hegemonic forces to defend its sovereign rights, security, and interests.”
“…The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has always expressed its full and unconditional support for all measures taken by the Russian government, and I take this opportunity to reaffirm that we will always stand with Russia on the anti-imperialist front and the front of Independence,” he said during the meeting between the two leaders that lasted over four hours, reported Bloomberg.
Both sides also agreed to further strengthen strategic and tactical cooperation in the face of the “military threats, provocations, and tyranny of imperialists”.
US, South Korea express concerns
The United States and South Korean officials have expressed concern that North Korea could provide weapons and ammunition to Russia amid the war in Ukraine – especially after the Kremlin gave numerous hints that the two leaders discussed military cooperation, but did not disclose details.
However, according to reports, Moscow and Pyongyang have denied such intentions.
The US State Department said that the Biden administration would “not hesitate” to impose any additional sanctions on Moscow and North Korea if they conclude any new arms deals, reported Reuters.
“It was troubling that Russia is talking about cooperation with North Korea on programs that potentially would violate U.N. Security Council resolution,” US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said.
(With inputs from agencies)