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Putin hails friendship, glorious historical traditions between Russia, North Korea

Also, the Russian leader said that the Soviet Union was among the first countries to recognize the young DPRK and establish diplomatic relations with it

MOSCOW, June 18. /TASS/. Russia and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) maintain a friendly and good-neighborly relationship based on equality, mutual respect and trust, Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote in an article for North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper ahead of his state visit to North Korea.

"The relations of friendship and neighborliness between Russia and the DPRK, based on the principles of equality, mutual respect and trust, go back more than seven decades and are rich in glorious historical traditions," the Russian leader emphasized. According to him, the two peoples "cherish the memory of their difficult joint struggle against Japanese militarism and honor the heroes who fell in it."

"In August 1945, Soviet soldiers, fighting shoulder to shoulder with Korean patriots, defeated the Kwantung Army, liberated the Korean peninsula from colonizers, and opened the way for the Korean people to develop independently," Putin wrote. He described the monument erected on the Moranbong Hill in downtown Pyongyang to commemorate the liberation of Korea by the Red Army in 1946 as "a symbol of combat brotherhood of the two nations."

Also, Putin said, the Soviet Union was among the first countries to recognize the young DPRK and establish diplomatic relations with it. According to the Russian leader, the USSR and North Korea signed the Agreement on Economic and Cultural Cooperation as early as on March 17, 1949, "establishing a legal framework for further strengthening of their bilateral interaction."

The Soviet Union "also extended a helping hand to the people of the DPRK and supported them in their struggle for independence" during the 1950-1953 Fatherland Liberation War, Putin maintained.

The Kremlin announced on Monday that Putin would pay a state visit to North Korea on June 18-19. Russian Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov told reporters that a treaty on a comprehensive strategic partnership between Russia and North Korea may be signed following Putin’s trip to Pyongyang. He explained that such a treaty was needed amid the profound changes taking place globally and that the document would not target third countries.