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North Korea Vows Support for Moscow in Visit by Russian Delegation


North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, vowed to expand military cooperation with Moscow in its confrontation with the United States as the Russian defense minister, Sergei K. Shoigu, led a delegation to Pyongyang, the North Korean state news media reported on Thursday.​

During a meeting on Wednesday, Mr. Kim and Mr. Shoigu discussed increasing “strategic and tactical collaboration and cooperation” in national security “to cope with the ever-changing regional and international security environment,” the North’s official Korean Central News Agency​ said on Thursday.

The news agency did not directly mention​ Russia’s war in Ukraine. But in a separate meeting with Mr. Shoigu on Wednesday, Mr. Kim’s defense minister, Kang Sun Nam​, identified the United States as a “common enemy” of their two countries.

“The present conflicting international military and political situation requires the armies of the two countries to resolutely stand against” the United States “and further strengthen their mutual cooperation and collaboration​,” Mr. Kang was quoted as saying.

M​r. Shoigu​ led his delegation to Pyongyang to celebrate the 70th anniversary on Thursday of the 1953 armistice that halted the three-year Korean War. It came on the same day that President Vladimir V. Putin opened a summit with African leaders in St. Petersburg, another effort by Russia to demonstrate its international ties as it grows more isolated from Western countries over its invasion of Ukraine.

The White House has accused North Korea of supplying infantry rockets and missiles​ to Russia for use in Ukraine, which Pyongyang has denied.

Russia helped install a Communist government in the northern half of the Korean Peninsula at the end of World War II and supported ​its invasion of the pro-American South to start the Korean War in 1950. Although the war ended in a truce, North Korea celebrates the armistice day as a “war victory day.”

Mr. Kim celebrated military ties between the two nations on Wednesday when he took Mr. Shoigu to a weapons exhibition​ in Pyongyang, where the North’s newest weapons, including its intercontinental ballistic missiles and what appeared to be unmanned aerial vehicles, were on display.

It was a matter of “mutual concern​” for Pyongyang and Moscow to cope with “the highhanded and arbitrary practices of the imperialists​,” Mr. Kim said in another meeting with Mr. Shoigu on Wednesday, using a term that he employs when referring to the United States.


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