North Korea marks founding day with parade, vows deeper ties with China and Russia

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North Korea's Kim Jong Un marked the country's founding anniversary on Saturday with a parade of paramilitary groups and diplomatic exchanges in which he vowed to deepen ties with China and Russia.

Leader Kim observed the parade at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang and held talks with a visiting Chinese delegation, according to state media KCNA.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a letter expressing his willingness to strengthen strategic communication and working-level cooperation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also sent a letter to Kim, saying the two countries will expand bilateral ties to ensure security and stability in the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia.

Kim is expected to travel to Russia this month to meet Putin to discuss weapons supplies to Moscow to support its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

North Korea supplements its already large military with various paramilitary, reserve, and security groups such as the army-affiliated Worker-Peasant Red Guards (WPRG).

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