Moscow, July 26 (EFE).- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated on Wednesday that the ties between Russia and North Korea have played a significant role in promoting peace on the Korean peninsula.
Shoigu, who is leading a Russian delegation to North Korea for the 70th anniversary celebrations of “Victory Day,” made these remarks during a meeting with his North Korean counterpart, Kang Sun-nam.
“Since the post-war period, our ties have grown stronger,” Shoigu stated during the meeting. He highlighted the importance of warship visits, exchanges of high-ranking representatives from the defense ministries, working-level delegations, and personnel training, all of which have contributed to maintaining peace and stability in the region.
Shoigu emphasized that his visit coincides with “the days of celebration of the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Korean people in the patriotic war of liberation,” according to a video of the talks released by the Russian Ministry of Defense.
“In the bloody battles of 1950-1953, the Korean People’s Army, under the command of Comrade Kim Il-sung, achieved a historic victory over a strong and cruel enemy,” he added.
Furthermore, Shoigu expressed Russia’s interest in strengthening military ties with North Korea. “I am convinced that our talks today will help strengthen cooperation between our defense ministries,” he said.
Describing Pyongyang as an “important partner of Russia,” Shoigu highlighted the shared border and “rich history of cooperation” between the two countries. He expressed his delight in meeting Kang, stating, “I am delighted with this meeting and to meet you. I accepted with gratitude the invitation to visit Pyongyang, the capital of a friendly country.”
During his visit to Pyongyang, Shoigu also participated in celebrations marking the end of the Korean War of 1950-1953. He paid his respects at monuments dedicated to Soviet soldiers who sacrificed their lives during World War II and to North Korean leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il.
Regarding accusations from the West of Pyongyang supplying arms and ammunition to Moscow in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, the Russian ambassador to North Korea, Alexander Matsegor, refuted recent information from the New York Times suggesting that Moscow was purchasing “missiles and artillery shells” from Pyongyang for the war in Ukraine. He stated that the communist regime could not afford to export weapons and ammunition at this time, given its tense relations with South Korea and the United States.
Shoigu’s visit to North Korea occurred shortly after the North Korean regime launched two short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) into the Sea of Japan on Monday. EFE