Seoul, September 17
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was heading home by train on Sunday, Russian news agencies reported, after a week-long visit to Russia that included talks with President Vladimir Putin in which both sides agreed to ensure closer military and other cooperation.
The trip by the North Korean leader, who seldom leaves his country, signifies “a fresh heyday of friendship and solidarity and cooperation is being opened up in the history of the development of the relations between the DPRK and Russia,” North Korean state news agency KCNA said, using the initials for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Such a military partnership is illegal and unjust. The international community will unite more firmly. —Yoon Suk Yeol, South Korean President
Moscow wants to develop equal and fair cooperation with North Korea despite UNSC sanctions. —Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow wanted to develop “equal and fair cooperation” with North Korea despite sanctions imposed on Pyongyang by the UN Security Council. “We have not declared sanctions against North Korea, the Security Council did that. So appeal to the Security Council, and we will develop equal and fair cooperation with the DPRK,” Lavrov said in a state TV interview, excerpts of which were broadcast on Sunday.
The Kremlin earlier said it abides by UN sanctions, but that it has a right to develop neighbourly relations, including in relation to sensitive topics. The US and its allies worry about warming military ties between the two neighbours as Russia presses its invasion of Ukraine and North Korea, a reclusive communist state, proceeds with missile and nuclear development.
South Korea and the US say military cooperation between North Korea and Russia would violate UN sanctions against Pyongyang and that the allies would ensure there was a price to pay. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol called such a military partnership “illegal and unjust”, saying the international community would “unite more tightly” to cope with deepening ties between Moscow and Pyongyang. — Reuters
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