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    North Korea’s Kim Hails Russia Ties as Putin Reportedly Plans a Visit

    North Korea’s Kim Hails Russia Ties as Putin Reportedly Plans a Visit

    , South Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hailed the country's expanding relationship with on Wednesday, as reports suggest that Russian President Vladimir Putin will soon visit the country for his third meeting with Kim.

    Military, economic and other cooperation between North Korea and Russia have sharply increased since Kim visited Russia last September for a meeting with Putin. The U.S., South Korea and their partners believe North Korea has supplied artillery, missiles and other conventional weapons to Russia to support its war in in return for advanced military technologies and economic aid.

    Kim has been pushing to boost partnerships with Russia and in a bid to strength his regional footing and launch a united front against the United States.

    During their September meeting at Russia's main space launch site, Kim invited the Russian president to visit North Korea at “a convenient time,” and Putin accepted.

    On Wednesday, Kim sent Putin a message congratulating Russia on its National Day, according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

    “Thanks to the significant meeting between us at the Vostochney Spaceport in September last year, (North Korea)-Russia friendly and cooperative relations developed into an unbreakable relationship of comrades-in-arms,” Kim said in the message.

    Kim's comments came as media reports said Putin is expected to visit North Korea as early as…

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