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Putin accuses North Korea of hosting children of soldiers killed in Ukraine

Putin accuses North Korea of hosting children of soldiers killed in Ukraine

Putin accuses North Korea of hosting children of soldiers killed in Ukraine

Putin accuses North Korea of hosting children of soldiers killed in Ukraine

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  • The children, sent to the Songdowon International Children’s Camp, are rare outsiders in the country.
  • Putin also acknowledges the development of tourism ties between Russia and North Korea. 
  • Local governor Oleg Kozhemyako promoted sending children from the Russian Far East region.
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On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that North Korea had hosted children of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine at a summer camp in the reclusive country.

During a state visit to Pyongyang to advance Russia’s relations with its close neighbor amid ruptured ties with Western countries over Ukraine, Putin thanked North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the “act of care.”

Russian children, who were sent to the Songdowon International Children’s Camp on the Pacific coast, are rare outsiders in the country, which further isolated itself from the world after the Covid pandemic.

“I want to thank our Korean friends and personally comrade Kim Jong Un for organizing the holiday of the children of killed participants of the special military operation in the Korean camp Songdowon,” Putin said, using Moscow’s term for its offensive on Ukraine.

“We highly value this genuine act of care and friendship,” he added.

Moscow has not revealed the number of its troops killed in over two years of fighting in Ukraine, but estimates suggest it could be at least in the tens of thousands.

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Putin stated that the countries were developing tourism ties.

“For the summer season, tours are being organized, focused on holidaying in Korean seaside resorts,” he said.

Russia and North Korea share a short land border near the city of Vladivostok. As Moscow promotes relations with Pyongyang, regional authorities in the Russian Primorye region bordering North Korea have also increased cooperation.

During a visit by Kim to Russia’s Far East last year, local governor Oleg Kozhemyako promoted sending children from the region to North Korean camps, causing some alarm among parents.

In an address to schoolchildren, Kozhemyako said: “When we were like you, we would go there, they had good camps in Korea. That’s why maybe we will agree and send some (children) to pioneer camps… There is the sea there and it is warm.”

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