The state medias of Russia and North Korea are reporting that leaders Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un have communicated mutual messages pledging deeper ties between the two nations, at a moment both find themselves heavily sanctioned by the United States and its allies.
The pledge came in the form of an exchange of official diplomatic notes in which Putin wished Kim "good health and success" - and spelled out a desire for closer cooperation, coming at a key moment where Moscow has been on the offensive in trying to strengthen strategic alliances with non-Western countries, notably China and India also among them, as the Ukraine invasion has blown past six months.
Putin's message to Kim further expressed hope that deepened Moscow-Pyongyang ties "would entirely conform with the interests of the peoples of the two countries," according to a translation.
Kim, responded by highlighting the special friendship has led to...
"The strategic and tactical cooperation, support, and solidarity between the two countries have put on a new high stage in the common front for frustrating the hostile forces’ military threat and provocation, and high-handed and arbitrary practices," Kim wrote, according to KCNA.
Without doubt, Kim's reference to "hostile forces" has Washington in mind as topping the list. Starting in March as the Ukraine war continued to intensify following the Putin-ordered Feb.24 invasion, Russia became the "world's most sanctioned country" - even surpassing Iran and North Korea.
Pyongyang, similar to China's government, has issued statements actively defending Russia's ability to respond militarily to threats to its national security interests.