A Russian delegation, led by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, arrived in North Korea on Tuesday, joining Chinese officials. The delegations will take part in the celebration of the 70th anniversary of “Victory Day” on Thursday in Pyongyang.
Chinese Communist Party Politburo member Li Hongzhong is heading the Officials’ group from Beijing.
Russian Defence Ministry stated that “This visit will help strengthen Russian-North Korean military ties and will be an important stage in the development of cooperation between the two countries,”.
According to the state media, the celebration will comprise a large-scale military parade in Pyongyang and it will be marked in a “grand manner that will go down in history”.
A self-imposed lockdown was maintained by North Korea during the initial two years of the pandemic, and entry of its own nationals into the country was also restricted.
U.S. State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said that both Russia and China “can use their influence over the DPRK (North Korea) to encourage them to refrain from threatening, unlawful behavior”.
Victory Day marks the ending of the war between South Korea and North Korea on July 27, 1953, following three years of conflict. Both countries had agreed to establish a demilitarized zone that divided the Korean Peninsula.