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Putin pledges to enhance relations with DPRK

By REN QI in Moscow | China Daily Global | Updated: 2024-06-19 09:16
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This picture taken early on June 19, 2024 and released from DPRK's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) via KNS shows DPRK's top leader Kim Jong-un (front L) chatting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin (front R) at the Kumsusan State Guest House in Pyongyang following the Russian leader's arrival. [Photo/Agencies]

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his intent to enhance bilateral relations with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in an article ahead of his planned visit to the neighbor, the official Korean Central News Agency reported on Tuesday.

In the report published by the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the DPRK, Putin said Russia and the DPRK "will put the bilateral cooperation onto a higher level with our joint efforts and this will contribute to developing reciprocal and equal cooperation between the two countries", according to the KCNA, which released the full text of the article.

Putin said Russia will invariably support the DPRK's fight to defend its freedom, sovereignty and the right to choose its road of independence.

The Russian president also denounced the United States-imposed "order based on rules", calling it "nothing but a worldwide neocolonialist dictatorship based on double standards".

According to the Kremlin, Putin would arrive on Tuesday evening in Pyongyang, where he will attend a concert in his honor, before signing "important" documents with Kim Jong-un on Wednesday.

The DPRK's top leader Kim paid an official visit to Russia at the invitation of Putin in September 2023 and then invited Putin to pay a return visit.

The visit will include one-on-one discussions between the two leaders, as well as a gala concert, state reception, honor guards, document signings, and a statement to the media, Assistant to the Head of State Yuri Ushakov told reporters, according to Russia's Interfax news agency.

Russian Defense Minister Andrey Belousov, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the ministers for natural resources, health and transport, and Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, will be part of the delegation.

According to Sputnik News, Putin has accepted the proposal of the Russian Foreign Ministry to sign a strategic partnership agreement with the DPRK, according to the relevant decree published on the official legal information portal on Tuesday.

Western countries have accused the DPRK of sending weapons to Russia for use in the conflict with Ukraine, which Moscow and Pyongyang both denied.

"We're not concerned about the trip" by Putin, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Monday. "What we are concerned about is the deepening relationship between these two countries."

The Kremlin said Putin will also visit Vietnam on Wednesday and Thursday for talks that are expected to be focused on trade.

Xinhua and agencies contributed to this story.

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