Putin Hails N. Korea's Support For Ukraine War Ahead Of Pyongyang Visit

Putin hails N. Korea's support for Ukraine war ahead of Pyongyang visit

Seoul, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 18th Jun, 2024) Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed North Korea on Tuesday for "firmly supporting" Moscow's war in Ukraine ahead of a visit to Pyongyang set to boost defence ties between the two nuclear-armed countries.

Putin is scheduled to touch down on Tuesday night for his first trip to the isolated nation in 24 years, with a confrontation between North and South Korean troops on their shared border highlighting regional security tensions.

Huge banners with a smiling photograph of the Russian leader reading "we ardently welcome President Putin!" were hung from lamp-posts across Pyongyang alongside Russian flags, images in Russian state media showed.

Moscow and Pyongyang have been allies since North Korea's founding after World War II and have drawn even closer since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022 led to the West isolating Putin internationally.

The United States and its allies have accused North Korea of supplying Russia with much-needed arms, including ballistic missiles to use in Ukraine.

The North has denied giving Russia military hardware but, ahead of his trip, Putin thanked Kim Jong Un's government for helping the war effort.

"We highly appreciate that the DPRK (North Korea) is firmly supporting the special military operations of Russia being conducted in Ukraine," Putin wrote in an article published by Pyongyang's state media on Tuesday.

Russia and the North are "now actively developing the many-sided partnership", Putin wrote.

Both countries are under rafts of UN sanctions -- Pyongyang since 2006 over banned nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and Moscow over the invasion of Ukraine.

Putin praised North Korea for "defending their interests very effectively despite the US economic pressure, provocation, blackmail and military threats that have lasted for decades".

He also hailed Moscow and Pyongyang for "maintaining the common line and stand at the UN".

North Korea said the visit showed bilateral ties "are getting stronger day by day", the official Korean Central news Agency reported.