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Putin congratulates Kim on reelection to top post in North Korea

The Hill logo The Hill 4/13/2019 Tal Axelrod
Kim Jong-un wearing a suit and tie: Putin congratulates Kim on reelection to top post in North Korea © Getty Putin congratulates Kim on reelection to top post in North Korea

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday congratulated North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on his reelection as chairman of North Korea's state affairs commission, a top post in the country.

"I am confident that your activities in this top state position will continue to facilitate friendly and neighbourly relations between our countries and peoples and will help strengthen peace and security in the Korean Peninsula," Putin wrote to Kim in a letter, according to a Kremlin press release.

"I would like to reaffirm our readiness for joint work on topical matters of the bilateral and regional agenda," he continued. "I sincerely wish you success, sound health and prosperity."

North Korea's Korean Central News Agency also reported the letter, according to the Yonhap News Agency in South Korea.

Russia, along with China, is one of North Korea's largest international supporters, providing it with resources as it faces a litany of sanctions imposed by foreign powers and the United Nations over its nuclear and missile programs.

China's president also reportedly offered Kim a congratulatory message. Xi expressed his belief that North Korean people would see progress on national construction and development efforts under him, according to China's Xinhua News Agency.

The glowing messages come amid renewed talk about negotiating a nuclear deal between Washington and Pyongyang, with President Trump praising his relationship with the North Korean leader and expressing openness to further negotiations over the hermit nation's nuclear program.

"I agree with Kim Jong Un of North Korea that our personal relationship remains very good, perhaps the term excellent would be even more accurate, and that a third Summit would be good in that we fully understand where we each stand," Trump tweeted Saturday.

"I look forward to the day, which could be soon, when Nuclear Weapons and Sanctions can be removed, and then watching North Korea become one of the most successful nations of the World!"

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