Seoul/Moscow, July 25 (EFE).- Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu began his North Korea visit on Tuesday for the Korean War armistice anniversary event to be attended by a high-level Chinese delegation in Pyongyang this week.
Shoigu, leading a Russian delegation, is traveling on an invitation from the North Korean defense ministry and will be in Pyongyang from July 25 to 27, the Russian defense ministry said in a statement.
The statement said that the Russian delegation would attend the events dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Korean people’s victory in the war.
The ministry emphasized that Shoigu’s visit to North Korea would boost military ties between Moscow and Pyongyang.
The state-run Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) confirmed that the defense ministry has invited a Russian military delegation by Shoigu for the event marking the “70th anniversary of the victory in the great Fatherland Liberation War.”
“The visit will mark an important occasion in further developing the traditional DPRK-Russia friendly relations in keeping with the demand of the times,” the news agency said, using the acronym for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – the official name for North Korea.
The North Korean regime led by Kim Jong-un has also invited a Chinese delegation led by Li Hongzhong, a member of the Communist Party of China politburo.
The official news agency said that the Chinese delegation was traveling at the invitation of the North Korean government and the ruling party “to take part in the celebrations.”
The diplomats from China and Russia in Pyongyang will mark the first time in more than three years that the regime has invited foreign delegations, in an apparent departure from its border closure policy after the Covid-19 pandemic.
North Korea closed its borders during the coronavirus pandemic, which caused further isolation of the hermit kingdom, cut off from much of the world.
Even North Korean workers and diplomats abroad were not allowed to since early 2020 due to the strict border restrictions.
However, China and Russia, which have emerged as its closest allies over the years, are set to change that.
North Korea has planned a “grand political festival to be specially recorded in the history of the country” on July 27 to mark the “Victory Day.”
“The celebrations serve as a significant occasion of powerfully demonstrating the unshakable faith and will of all the people,” the news agency said.
Satellite images have shown pictures of participants conducting rehearsals for a large-scale military parade in Pyongyang for the anniversary for months.
North Korea may showcase ballistic missiles and other novelties from its modern weaponry. EFE