Russia’s foreign minister thanks North Korea for supporting its war in Ukraine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov thanked North Korea for supporting its war in Ukraine and pledged Moscow’s “complete support and solidarity” for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Russia’s foreign ministry said.

Lavrov arrived in Pyongyang on Wednesday for meetings seen as setting the stage for a visit by President Vladimir Putin, who has stepped up cooperation with politically isolated North Korea.

Speaking at a reception hosted by the North on Wednesday, Lavrov said Moscow “deeply” values Pyongyang’s “unwavering and principled support” for the war, which it calls a “special military operation.”

“Likewise, the Russian Federation extends its complete support and solidarity with the aspirations of the DPRK … in … their chosen paths of development,” Lavrov said according to the transcript of the speech released on the Russian foreign ministry website. DPRK are the initials of the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Lavrov’s two-day visit comes a month after North Korean leader Kim made a rare trip to Russia, during which he invited Putin to Pyongyang and discussed military cooperation.

This week’s visit will offer a “valuable opportunity” to review and outline practical steps for the implementation of the agreements reached between the two leaders, Lavrov said.

Russia’s TASS news agency earlier said Lavrov may also brief North Koreans on the results of Putin’s visit to China.

The White House last week said North Korea recently provided Russia with a shipment of weapons in what it called a troubling development.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that the Western allegations were not based on evidence.

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