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Formal dinner in honour of Chairman of State Affairs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Kim Jong-un

September 13, 2023, Amur Region

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade President, friends,

Allow me once again to cordially welcome our distinguished guests, Comrade Kim Jong-un and all our Korean colleagues.

I remember well when, during our talks in Vladivostok in 2019, we exchanged views on the development of our relations and on the international agenda at that time. Your current visit is taking place in an atmosphere of true camaraderie, friendship and positivity. We have an extensive agenda and a programme that includes visits not only to the Vostochny Cosmodrome, but also to other major high-tech clusters, industrial facilities and innovation centres in the Russian Far East.

This year, Russia and North Korea will mark a significant anniversary – 75 years of diplomatic relations. The Soviet Union was the first to recognise the newly established Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Our relationship dates back to Korea's struggle for freedom in 1945, when Soviet and Korean soldiers, shoulder to shoulder, smashed the Japanese militarists.

Today, we strive to further strengthen the bonds of companionship and neighbourly relations, and work for peace, stability and prosperity in the region we share.

Comrade Kim Jong-un, you are firmly and confidently following the course laid down by outstanding statesmen such as the founder of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Kim Il-sung, and his successor, Comrade Kim Jong Il. They were our genuine and true friends and consistently supported building the closest relations and ties between our countries.

A Korean proverb says, “good clothes are new clothes, but a good friend is an old friend.” Russian people say, “an old friend is better than two new ones.” These popular sayings are fully applicable to modern relations between our countries.

I would like to propose a toast to the further strengthening of friendship and cooperation between our countries, between the Russian Federation and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, to the success and prosperity of our nations, to the health of Comrade Chairman and all those present.

Chairman of State Affairs of the DPRK Kim Jong-un (retranslated): I am delighted to be able to visit Russia after four years and five months [after receiving the invitation], to meet with President Putin and to be in this remarkable place filled with the feeling of sincere comradely friendship.

Comrade Putin, first of all, I would like to express our sincere gratitude for inviting us despite your busy schedule, filled with the affairs of state, and for giving us such a hospitable welcome. I would also like to express our gratitude to officials from the federal centre and Far Eastern regions who have done a great deal to make our visit to Russia a success.

I would like to use this occasion to convey a combat tribute and warm fraternal greetings from the Korean people to the Russian people, who have risen to fulfil the historical mission of building a strong Russia and reliably protecting the country’s strategic interests.

Comrades, this visit is taking place at a time when a fierce competition between progress and reaction, between justice and injustice is gaining momentum on the international stage, and when the rise of the multipolar world is proceeding thanks to the common will and combined strength of independent forces.

Comrade Putin and I have just had an in-depth discussion on the military-political situation on the Korean Peninsula and in Europe. We have come to a satisfactory consensus regarding the further strengthening of our strategic and tactical cooperation, mutual support and solidarity in the battle for our sovereign right to security and to create guarantees for a lasting peace in the region and the world. We are confident that the Russian army and people will inevitably attain victory in the sacred struggle to punish the evil crowd, which claims the right to hegemony based on the illusion of expansionism, a struggle to create the stability needed for development.

The task of expanding and building up Russian-North Korean relations not only fully meets the interests of our two nations but is also a relevant part of the current period of striving for independence. I will work together with the President of Russia to develop stable and forward-looking Russian-North Korean relations for decades to come, using them to stimulate the development of strong states in our countries and to ensure genuine international justice.

As soon as I stepped on Russian soil, I got a sense of your fighting spirit and exuberant activity, and I have become a direct witness to the remarkable achievements of the Russian people in the creation of a powerful modern Russia under the wise guidance of Comrade Putin.

I have no doubt that the heroic Russian army and people, the glorious successors of the traditions of victory, will convincingly demonstrate the invaluable importance of honour on two fronts: during the special military operation and when building a powerful state.

In conclusion, I would like to express confidence that this visit will provide a vital impetus to the further development of the traditionally friendly North Korean-Russian relations and their transformation into unbreakable relations of strategic cooperation.

I raise my glass to the health of Comrade Putin, President of Russia, to the new victories of great Russia, to the continuing development and strengthening of friendship between North Korea and Russia, and to the health of all the comrades present here!

September 13, 2023, Amur Region