Putin says ties with North Korea raised to ‘unprecedentedly high level’ in thank-you message to Kim

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un smile during their meeting at the Pyongyang Sunan International Airport outside Pyongyang, North Korea, June 19. AP-Yonhap

Russian President Vladimir Putin has thanked North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for showing heartfelt hospitality during his visit to Pyongyang last week, saying bilateral ties have been boosted to an “unprecedentedly high level,” the North’s state media reported Tuesday.

In a message to Kim, Putin said his trip to the North has opened ways for the two countries to achieve beneficial cooperation in various fields, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

“He said that his recent state visit to the DPRK was of special significance as it raised the relations between Moscow and Pyongyang to an unprecedentedly high level of comprehensive strategic partnership,” the KCNA said, using the acronym of North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Putin said the North’s leader is an “honoured guest” that Russia always waits for, wishing for Kim’s good health and success.

After summit talks Wednesday, Putin and Kim signed a treaty of comprehensive strategic partnership that calls for providing military assistance without delay if either side comes under attack. It marked Putin’s first trip to North Korea in 24 years.

Putin also voiced hope to hold the next summit with Kim in Moscow, according to Russian media outlets.

Meanwhile, North Korea condemned Ukraine troops for staging attacks on the Russian-annexed Crimean Peninsula this week with Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) missiles supplied by the United States.

“Puppet groups in Ukraine has been clinging to reckless terrorist acts as the country has faced repeated defeats with military confrontations with Russia,” the KCNA said in a separate dispatch, calling the attack the outcome of Washington’s madness against Russia.

In a similar message designed to show solidarity with Moscow, Pak Jong-chon, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of 추천 North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, slammed Washington’s military support for Ukraine on Monday.

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