Putin thanks North Korea for ‘unwavering support’ for Ukraine war

Vladimir Putin lauded North Korea’s “unwavering support” for the “special military operation” in Ukraine as Russia joined China in Pyongyang to celebrate the hermit kingdom’s 70th anniversary of the Korean War truce.

Mr Putin sent defence minister Sergei Shoigu who was seen alongside North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and held one-on-one talks with him, reported the Korean nation’s state media.

Mr Putin sent his congratulatory message wherein he lauded “the DPRK’s unwavering support for [Russia’s] special military operation” in Ukraine.

The Russian president lamented “Western policies” for “undermining the supremacy of international law, the indivisibility of security and the establishment of a truly multipolar and just world,” the state media reported.

Mr Putin accused the West of disregarding “respect for the sovereignty and national interests of states”.

Kim Jong-un was joined by his two staunch ally nations Russia and China as he brandished his newest nuclear-capable missiles and spy drones at the grand military parade in Pyongyang, where the three anti-US rivals gathered for North Korea’s “Victory Day” celebrations.

The North Korean leader flexed his military muscle by displaying the latest Hwasong-17 and Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missiles which are capable of wide-range strike anywhere in the United States, reported Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The missiles have been banned by the United Nations Security Council resolutions with support from China and Russia.

Brand new attack and spy drones were also displayed in a flyover in the event.

Mr Kim was also joined by Chinese Communist Party Politburo member Li Hongzhong. The trio were seen talking, laughing, posing for photographs, and saluting as the North Korean troops marched.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, center, Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu, left, and China’s Vice Chairman of the standing committee of the country’s National People’s Congress Li Hongzhong, right, attend a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the armistice that halted fighting in the 1950-53 Korean War, on Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang


North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-n (C in black suit) watching as the new model of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the solid-fuel Hwasong-18, goes past in a military parade

(KCNA VIA KNS/AFP via Getty Image)

New model of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the solid-fuel Hwasong-18, being paraded at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang to mark a key anniversary of the Korean War

(KCNA VIA KNS/AFP via Getty Image)

Mr Shoigu said North Korea’s “solidarity with Russia on key international issues” highlights the two nation’s common interest to “confront” the common rival West, while delivering the remarks at the conference to mark the armistice anniversary.

Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu attends a reception for the Russian military delegation hosted by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as part of the 70th anniversary celebration of the Korean War armistice in Pyongyang


The three nations displayed the first sign of revival of their Cold War-era coalition and a show of solidarity, just weeks after powerful summits and gatherings of US and Nato nations in the first half of this year, including the Group of Seven Summit in May, where Ukraine’s war-time president Volodymyr Zelensky was also invited, and Nato summit in Lithuania this month.

Mr Putin claimed several of his Soviet pilots “carried out tens of thousands of combat flights” for contributing to “annihilating the enemy”, reported KCNA.

Reminiscing the Cold War-era ties, Mr Putin in his relayed message said: “The historic experience of combative friendship has noble values, and is serving as a reliable foundation to further develop the connection between Russia and North Korea in the field of politics, economy and safety.”

Mr Shoigu praised the North Korean military as the strongest in the world, as he discussed strategic security and defence cooperation with the North Korean leader.

This was Russia’s first such visit to North Korea involving Moscow’s top defence official since the 1991 break-up of the Soviet Union, while China’s delegation is the first such to arrive after the Covid-19 pandemic.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attends a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in Pyongyang


Beijing and Moscow have previously maintained their distance from North Korea’s nuclear activities but marked a distinct support this year as Russia’s full-scale invasion in Ukraine grinds on with consistent and powerful military aid from the Western allies of Kyiv, much to the anguish of the Kremlin.

Soldiers participate in a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in Pyongyang


The North Korean leader also hosted a reception and lunch with Mr Shoigu as he promised solidarity with Russia and its military.

Watching the high-level gathering from the ring-side view, the US expressed concern about the coming together of the three nations, which have increasingly been critical of the West, and particularly the growing US influence, in the recent times where tensions are rife.

The US Department of State spokesperson Vedant Patel said the US was “incredibly concerned” about their ties. The US has previously accused North Korea of supplying weapons to Russia for fuelling the 17-month long war in Ukraine.

Both Russia and North Korea have rejected charges of carrying out any arms transactions.

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