Queen Elizabeth II sent a congratulatory message to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un on the country’s national day last week.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson told the CNN that the United Kingdom’s Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) sent the message to the people of North Korea on behalf of the Queen, when the secretive country observed her national day on September 9.
The spokesperson added that it was a “standard practice” similar to other national days across the world and “has been done before.”
“As the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea celebrate their national day, I send my good wishes for the future,” the message sent by Queen Elizabeth read, according to North Korean state media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
KCNA also confirmed the message from the British Queen was received on September 7, two days before the dictatorial state celebrated the 73rd anniversary of its founding, according to a report on Daily Mail.
“Kim Jong Un, president of the State Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), received a message of greeting from Elizabeth II, queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, on September 7,” the report read.
The British Queen’s spokesperson said, “Her Majesty in all dealings with other Heads of State acts on the advice of the FCDO.”
A FCDO official told the CNN that the Queen had sent similar congratulatory messages to North Korea on her founding day in previous years, too, although this was the first time that such a message was revealed to the public.
North Korea marked her national day this year with a midnight military parade in capital Pyongyang. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly appeared on a platform in Kim Il Sung square and waved at the crowd. However, there was no reports of him addressing the gathering, according to North Korean media outlet Rodong Sinmun.
The country’s media reported on Monday that the North Korean military test-fired a new “long-range cruise missile” on Saturday and Sunday, amid a long standoff with the United States over its nuclear programme.
North Korea remains under international sanctions for its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, which Pyongyang says it needs to defend against any ‘invasion’ by the United States.
The extremely secretive nation severed almost all of its ties with the outside world in 2020 to prevent an influx of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases.
Even though there has been no reported major outbreak of Covid-19 in North Korea, and no indications that the pandemic struck the country, experts doubt the veracity of Pyongyang’s claim the country has not seen a single case of the virus.
Earlier this year, North Korea reportedly turned down the proposal for Covid-19 vaccine aid through an United Nations-backed immunisation programme. Kim Jong-un ordered North Korean officials to execute a tougher epidemic prevention campaign in their style to prevent the pandemic.
(c) 2021 the Hindustan Times
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