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Self-proclaimed Donetsk leader pledges ‘bilateral cooperation’ with North Korea | Ukraine

North Korea and the Russian-occupied Donetsk region of Ukraine will develop “an equally beneficial bilateral cooperation,” its self-proclaimed leader said in a letter to Kim Jong-unaccording to state media.

Dennis Pushlin vowed in Kim’s congratulatory message on August 15 Korea Liberation Day, North Korea’s official news agency. KCN This came two days after Kim reported a similar message from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The report quoted Pushlin’s message as saying: “The people of the Donbas region are also fighting to restore their freedom and the justice of history today just as the Korean people did 77 years ago.”

The agency added: “The letter expressed its conviction that bilateral cooperation equally beneficial and consistent with the interests of the peoples of the two countries will be achieved between the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” North Korea.

Pushlin had previously said he hoped for “fruitful cooperation” and increased trade with North Korea.

Last month, the Russian ambassador to Pyongyang, Alexander Matsegora, said North Korean workers could be sent to it. Helping rebuild infrastructure destroyed by war In the unilaterally proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Matsegora said there is likely to be “a lot of opportunities” for economic cooperation between the North and the unilaterally declared republics of Ukraine’s Donbas region, despite UN sanctions.

He told the Russian newspaper Izvestia in an interview, according to a Seoul-based website NK . newsthat “highly qualified and hardworking Korean builders, able to work in the most difficult conditions, can help us restore our social, infrastructure and industrial facilities.”

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North Korea has traditionally acquired a much-needed foreign currency Sending its citizens to work abroad. Under UN sanctions, they were supposed to be repatriated by the end of 2019, but large numbers of North Korean workers have reportedly continued to work in Russia and China, as well as in Laos and Vietnam, after the deadline.

Earlier this week, Putin told the North Korean ruler that Russia North Korea will expand comprehensive and constructive bilateral ties with joint efforts, according to a message carried by the Korean Central News Agency on Monday.

The letter claimed that closer relations would be in the interest of the two countries, and would help enhance security and stability on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia.

During a speech at the International Security Conference in Moscow on Tuesday, Putin said Russia would provide its allies and partners with “advanced weapons and military equipment” as well as work to create “new mechanisms for international security.”

Kim reportedly sent a reply letter to Putin in which he said the friendship between Russia and North Korea had crystallized in World War II with his victory over Japan. In the letter, Kim said their “strategic and tactical cooperation, support and solidarity” have since reached a new level in their joint efforts to thwart threats and provocations from hostile military forces. The Korean Central News Agency did not identify the hostile forces, but it usually uses the term to refer to the United States and its allies.

Kim predicted that cooperation between Russia and North Korea would grow based on an agreement signed in 2019 when he met Putin.

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In July, North Korea recognized the Donetsk People’s Republics (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republics (LPR) in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, as independent states.

The move made North Korea only the third country, after Russia and Syria, to recognize the two separatist entities.

In a statement in support of the self-proclaimed republics, the North Korean Foreign Ministry said Ukraine “has no right to raise an issue or dispute our legitimate exercise of sovereignty after committing an act that deeply lacks fairness and justice between nations by actively joining the unjust and legitimate United States.” illegal in the past.”

In response, Ukraine immediately cut ties with Pyongyang over the move.

Reuters contributed to this report.