On 9 September, Kim Jong-un attended a military parade that was held in Pyongyang to celebrate the 73rd anniversary of the country’s founding.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II sent a message to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last week, a few days before the DPRK marked its National Day on 9 September, local media has reported.
According to the state-run North Korean news outlet KCNA, the message read, “as the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea celebrate their national day, I send my good wishes for the future”.
KCNA reported that Kim “received a message of greeting from Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, on 7 September”.
A UK Foreign Office spokesperson, in turn, said that “as in previous years, the Queen has sent a message to the people of the DPRK on the occasion of their national day”.
Buckingham Palace reportedly confirmed that the communication was sent via the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
The Telegraph reported that the message “was neither shared with the British press, nor on the palace’s social media accounts, as has become the custom with the Queen’s key messages to overseas leaders”.
The Queen is thought to have sent similar messages in the past, but they have never been made public. The Telegraph quoted unnamed sources as claiming that it “underscores the fact that the UK has diplomatic relations” with North Korea. The two countries established diplomatic ties in December 2000.
Last Thursday, Kim Jong-un greeted massive crowds of North Koreans amid a night-time military parade in Pyongyang to celebrate the country’s National Day.
In a separate development last week, North Korea announced it had successfully tested new long-range cruise missiles that are reportedly capable of hitting targets located about 1,500 kilometres (930 miles) away from the country.
Pyongyang touted the new missiles as a “strategic weapon of great significance”, in an apparent nod that they were developed in order to arm them with nuclear warheads.
Earlier this year, Kim stressed that North Korea should continue to develop its nuclear arsenal, but will not use it “unless hostile forces try to use nuclear [weapons] targeting us”.