North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has sent a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin saying he wants to strengthen ties with him as their two countries build an alliance, according to North Korean state media.
An article published by the Korean Central News Agency, titled “Greetings to Russian President,” says Kim’s message highlighted “that the DPRK-Russia friendship, which has weathered all trials of history generation after generation and century after century, is a precious strategic asset common to the two countries and it is the fixed stance of the DPRK government to ceaselessly develop the good neighborly and cooperative relations.”
The report continued, saying Kim expressed a desire to work with Putin toward a common goal of defending global security, according to a translation by KCNA Watch, and that he wished Putin success and good health.
The article also said Kim is defending Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.
The message from Kim was reportedly sent on Russia Day, which U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has previously described as a holiday that “marks the significant step Russia made on June 12, 1991, when it held its first free, open, and fair elections, and adopted the Declaration of Russian State Sovereignty.”
Meanwhile, South Korea’s intelligence service believes Kim could be suffering from insomnia while abusing alcohol and tobacco.
South Korean lawmaker Yoo Sang-bum told the media at the end of May that the National Intelligence Service found North Korean authorities were “hoarding” insomnia medications such as Zolpidem and “significant amounts” of alcohol and cigarettes, according to a report from The Korea Herald.
In addition to the sleep issues and apparent substance abuse, the spy service also noted the North Korean leader seems to be suffering from marks on his wrists or arms, which the service assess may be from scratching scars that may be the result of a skin condition related to stress or from an allergic reaction.
Fox News’ Michael Lee contributed to this report.