Russian President Vladimir Putin has written to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to suggest the two countries form closer ties.
The letter from Mr Putin suggested the pair work to “expand the comprehensive and constructive bilateral relations with common efforts”, according to North Korea’s state media, KCNA.
Delivered to Pyongyang on North Korea’s liberation day, it went on to say a union would help “strengthen the security and stability of the Korean peninsula and the Northeastern Asian region”.
In a separate reply, Mr Kim said that since a Russian-North Korean friendship had been forged in the Second World War with victory over Japan, the “strategic and tactical cooperation, support and solidarity” between the two countries had reached a new level.
Their common efforts to frustrate threats and provocations from “hostile military forces”, it said, bound them.
KCNA did not identify the “hostile forces”, but it has typically used that term to refer to the US and its allies.
In July, Mr Kim said North Korea was ready to mobilise its nuclear war deterrent “accurately and promptly” in the face of potential military conflicts with the US or South Korea.
More on Kim Jong Un
Also in July, North Korea recognised two Russian-backed breakaway “people’s republics” in eastern Ukraine as independent states, and officials raised the prospect of North Korean workers being sent to there to help in construction and other sectors.
Ukraine, which has resisted a Russian invasion since February – described by Mr Putin as a “special military operation” – immediately severed relations with Pyongyang over the decision.
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