Russia’s defence minister accompanied North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to a defence exhibition that featured the North’s banned ballistic missiles as the neighbours pledged to boost ties, North Korean state media reported on Thursday.
The Russian minister, Sergei Shoigu, and a Chinese delegation led by a Communist Party Politburo member arrived in North Korea this week for the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, celebrated in North Korea as “Victory Day”.
The nuclear-capable missiles are banned under United Nations Security Council resolutions adopted with Russian and Chinese support. But this week they provided a striking backdrop for a show of solidarity by countries united by their rivalry with the U.S. and a revival of what some analysts see as their Cold War-era coalition.
In New York, U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said that while the global organization was not immediately able to analyze what was being shown, “all members of Security Council and, frankly, all member states of the U.N. share the same responsibility to uphold Security Council resolutions.”
Shoigu’s visit was the first by a Russian defence minister to North Korea since the 1991 break-up of the Soviet Union. For North Korea, the arrival of the delegations marks its first major opening-up to the world since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“(Kim) expressed his views on the issues of mutual concern in the struggle to safeguard the sovereignty, development and interests of the two countries from the high-handed and arbitrary practices of the imperialists and to realise international justice and peace,” North Korean media said.
The KCNA state news agency did not refer to the war in Ukraine but quoted Defence Minister Kang Sun Nam as saying that Pyongyang fully supported Russia’s “battle for justice” and protection of its sovereignty.
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