Russian President Vladimir Putin greets North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un before a meeting April 25, 2019 in Vladivostok, Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un before a meeting April 25, 2019 in Vladivostok, Russia.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has nothing but praise for Vladimir Putin and his war in Ukraine.

  • Kim expressed a desire for close cooperation with Moscow, saying he and Putin should be “holding hands.”

  • North Korea has been seeking closer ties with Russia, especially after the war in Ukraine began.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is cozying up to his counterpart in Russia, expressing “full support and solidarity” for the Kremlin’s war on Ukraine.

In a Monday greeting message to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Kim said he wanted to work toward “strategic cooperation” between Pyongyang and Moscow, and desired to be “holding hands firmly with the Russian president.”

Kim’s message, published by state media, piled praise upon Putin and Russia, saying that “justice is sure to win” and that Russia would “add glory to the history of victory.”

Kim lauded the invasion of Ukraine, portraying it as a move to protect Russia’s sovereignty — even though Ukraine is an internationally recognized independent nation.

“The people of the DPRK are extending full support and solidarity to the Russian people in their all-out struggle for implementing the sacred cause to preserve the sovereign rights, development, and interests of their country against the imperialists’ high-handed and arbitrary practices and to realize the international justice,” the message said, per KCNA Watch, a US-based tracker of North Korean state news.

Kim typically uses similar language to blame the US and its allies whenever he tries to justify North Korea’s increasingly aggressive weapons tests.

North Korea was one of the few nations that has consistently voted in favor of Russia at the United Nations since the war began. It has pursued closer relations with Russia, especially since the war began in March, discussing a deal to sell weapons and munitions to Moscow in exchange for food, according to US officials.

The country has, in recent years, suffered from a devastating food crisis brought about by a drought in 2022 and the tightening of food imports from China due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Putin vowed in August to deepen ties with Pyongyang, promising to” expand the comprehensive and constructive bilateral relations with common efforts” and highlighting how Soviet Union and Korean soldiers fought alongside each other during World War II.

The war has also drawn China and Russia closer together, with Beijing and Moscow strengthening trade and economic cooperation as they seek to distance themselves from the West.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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