North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Meets with Russia’s Defence Minister
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu met on Wednesday during Shoigu’s infrequent visit to the closed country. Both parties concurred to strengthen their ties, according to state media KCNA.
During the meeting, Shoigu handed Kim a letter written by Russian President Vladimir Putin and delivered by him. In response, Kim expressed gratitude to Putin for sending a military delegation led by Shoigu. Kim also emphasized how the meeting had improved “strategic and traditional DPRK (North Korea)-Russia relations.”
Shoigu’s visit was significant because it took place on “Victory Day,” or the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, in North Korea. Shoigu visited North Korea as part of a Chinese delegation that also included Li Hongzhong, a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo. These delegations mark the first notable foreign visitors to North Korea since the pandemic’s start.
At a banquet in Pyongyang, Shoigu praised the North Korean military, calling it the “most powerful” in the world. This statement was made during his meeting with his North Korean counterpart, Kang Sun Nam, according to news agency Yonhap, which cited the Korean Central Broadcasting Station (KCBS).
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un visited a cemetery on Wednesday, according to the country’s official media outlet KCNA, just one day before the festivities for the ceremony honoring Chinese soldiers who fought in the Korean War. Kim Jong Un was accompanied by Kim Yo Jong, his powerful sister, during his visit. The visit’s timing is important because it occurred just before Thursday’s celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Korean War truce. North Korea observes this day as “Victory Day” and lavish military parades are frequently held to mark the occasion.
According to KCNA, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited the Fatherland Liberation War Martyrs Cemetery on Monday. During his visit, he praised the soldiers buried there, praising them as heroes who “inflicted defeat” on US imperialism. The Korean War is referred to as the “Great Fatherland Liberation War” in North Korea.