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Putin awards medal to Kim Jong Un marking victory over Nazi Germany

The medal was awarded to the North Korean leader for his role in preserving the memory of Soviet soldiers who died on North Korean territory.

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Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un (AP)

Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un (AP)

Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un (AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has awarded Kim Jong Un a commemorative war medal marking the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany, the Russian embassy in Pyongyang said.

The medal was awarded to the North Korean leader for his role in preserving the memory of Soviet soldiers who died on North Korean territory, the statement said.

Russia’s ambassador in North Korea, Alexander Matsegora, presented the award to foreign minister Ri Son-gwon on Tuesday.

Mr Kim, who was rumoured earlier this month to have fallen ill, did not attend the ceremony.

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The ceremony in Pyongyang (Russian Embassy in the DPRK/Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service/AP)

The ceremony in Pyongyang (Russian Embassy in the DPRK/Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service/AP)

AP/PA Images

The ceremony in Pyongyang (Russian Embassy in the DPRK/Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service/AP)

Photos of the meeting in Pyongyang showed Russian and North Korean officials wearing face masks despite the fact that North Korea has not reported a single case of coronavirus.

Last year Russia invited Mr Kim to visit Moscow on May 9 and attend the military parade marking the 75th anniversary of the victory.

Mr Putin announced the decision to postpone the parade indefinitely last month because of the pandemic.

In 2015, the North Korean leader rejected a similar invitation to the 70th anniversary, citing domestic affairs.

PA Media