Is North Korea learning the tricks of the trade fast? On the day he met US President Donald Trump at the Capello Hotel in Singapore for a high-stakes summit aimed at normalising situations in the Korean Peninsula and the Far East, North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un sent a greeting message to Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
The report said the message from Kim was sent to Putin and the people of Russia on the occasion of Russia's National Day which falls on June 12.
"It said that the Russian people have achieved successes in the cause of building powerful Russia under his leadership, braving all challenges and difficulties," the KCNA report said.
In the message, Kim wished the strategic and traditional relations between North Korea and Russia would become stronger and it hoped success for Putin in building a powerful Russia.
Russia though started late in joining the scheme of things but it eventually joined as its foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, went to Pyongyang on May 31 and invited Kim to visit Moscow later this year, Russia's official sources informed.
The Russian ministry also said that Lavrov conveyed Putin's greeting to Kim saying the president wished him luck in the undertakings that have been initiated with an aim of achieving peace in the Korean Peninsula.
Lavrov was the first official to be received by the North Korean leader, reports said.
Putin has praised Kim on more than one occasion on the past. The signals are clear: The moment Kim succeeds in establishing peace with the US and the Korean Peninsula progresses towards denuclearisation, Russia will not fall back from the competition to influence Pyongyang, something that big powers like the US and China are already contemplating.
The coincidence of the Russian National Day falling on the same date as the summit also helped Kim's diplomacy.