N. Korea, Russia hold celebrations marking 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties

North Korea and Russia have pledged to further develop their relations, as they held celebrations in Pyongyang earlier this week to mark the 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties, the North's state media reported Friday.

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Im Chon-il and Russian Ambassador to North Korea Alexander Matsegora attended a banquet and watched a documentary film about the bilateral ties on Thursday to mark the anniversary, according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Participants in the events touted the bilateral relationship as developing into an "invincible comradeship" and strategic partnership, after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a summit last month to discuss cooperation, the report said.

As part of the celebrations, Im and Matsegora watched the documentary film featuring Kim's latest trip to Russia for talks with Putin and his inspections of key military sites, with North Korea describing the trip as an "epoch-making" opportunity for North Korea-Russia relations.

Meanwhile, North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui and her Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, exchanged messages celebrating the anniversary, according to the KCNA.

Stressing the need to implement the summit agreements, Choe called for close cooperation between the two nations and efforts to further strengthen diplomatic ties, it said.

Lavrov earlier said he plans to visit Pyongyang in October to discuss follow-up measures to the Putin-Kim summit, raising speculation that the move appears to be related to preparations for Putin's trip to North Korea.

The Kremlin said last month that Putin had accepted Kim's offer to visit North Korea during the summit held at Russia's Vostochny spaceport.

Russia, then the Soviet Union, forged diplomatic ties with North Korea on Oct. 12, 1948, recognizing the North as a state for the first time in the world.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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