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Images shared by North Korean state media showed that the country's leader Kim Jong Un installed large portraits of Russian president Vladimir Putin throughout an official building. The portraits can be seen in photographs of Kim Jong Un with Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu, who visited Pyongyang last week to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War- called "Victory Day" in North Korea.

Even though Vladimir Putin didn't accompany Sergei Shoigu to Pyongyang, he sent a letter to Kim that was published by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). In the letter, the Russian leader praised the North Korean government's support for Russia amid Moscow's invasion of Ukraine appreciating the nation's “solidarity with Russia on key international issues highlight our common interests.”

Ahead of Sergei Shoigu's arrival in Pyongyang, Russia's defense ministry had said in a statement that his trip was aimed at strengthening Russian-North Korean military ties. During the visit, Kim Jong Un showed the minister nuclear-capable missiles that are banned under United Nations Security Council resolutions, as well as what appeared to be a new drone, news agency Reuters reported.

NK News reported that the defense exhibition featured North Korea's largest nuclear missiles like the Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and the Hwasong-18 solid-fuel ICBM.

Ankit Panda, senior fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the US-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peacetold Newsweek, "That appears to have given way to courting Pyongyang as a strategic partner. Kim Jong Un's support for Russia in its illegal war on Ukraine appears to have paid dividends."

This comes as Ukraine's interior minister said that at least one person was killed after a Russian missile hit a residential building in the city of Kryvyi Rig. Interior minister Igor Klymenko said, "Russians struck the city with two missiles. The second missile destroyed sections located between the fourth and ninth floors of a residential building. One person was killed and 10 people sought medical assistance. There may be people under the rubble."


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