Russian President Vladimir Putin has written to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, proposing closer ties between the two countries.
According to North Korea’s state media, KCNA, Mr Putin’s letter suggested the two work together to “expand the comprehensive and constructive bilateral relations with joint efforts.”
It went on to say that a union would help “strengthen the security and stability of the Korean peninsula and the Northeast Asian region,” and it was delivered to Pyongyang on North Korea’s liberation day.
Mr Kim responded in a separate letter, saying that since a Russian-North Korean friendship was forged in World War II with victory over Japan, the two countries’ “strategic and tactical cooperation, support, and solidarity” had reached a new level.
It claimed that their joint efforts to deter threats and provocations from “hostile military forces” bound them.
KCNA did not identify the “hostile forces,” but it has traditionally used that term to refer to the United States and its allies.
In July, Mr. Kim stated that North Korea was prepared to mobilise its nuclear deterrent “accurately and promptly” in the event of a military conflict with the United States or South Korea.
North Korea also recognised two Russian-backed breakaway “people’s republics” in eastern Ukraine as independent states, and officials hinted that North Korean workers might be sent there to help with construction and other labour.