Kim Jong Un pledges to support Russia's 'sacred struggle' amid Ukraine war in meeting with Putin

Kim said at the meeting that his country's "very first priority is relations with the Russian Federation."

Published: September 13, 2023 8:12am

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Moscow could count on his nation's support for Russia's "sacred struggle" a year and a half after the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine.

The allies met at a remote Russian space launch facility amid concerns that the two isolated and heavily sanctioned countries would reach a deal to exchange military equipment and satellite technology for Putin to use in his war in Ukraine.

Kim said at the meeting with Putin, which was their first since 2019, that his country's "very first priority is relations with the Russian Federation."

"Now Russia has risen to a sacred struggle to defend its state sovereignty and protect its security in opposition to the hegemonic forces that oppose Russia," Kim also said, as translated.

"We have always supported and support all decisions of President Putin, as well as decisions of the Russian Government. I also hope that we will always be together in the struggle against imperialism and for the construction of a sovereign state."

Video on the Kremlin's website shows the two leaders at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, a launch site in eastern Russia, as rockets and spacecraft can be seen in the background.

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