North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un on Thursday sent out a congratulatory message to the newly elected president of India, Draupadi Murmu.
What Happened: In his message to Murmu, Kim hailed North Korea’s “long-standing and traditional relations of friendship and cooperation” with India, according to the statement released by the North Korean Foreign Affairs ministry.
Murmu on Monday was sworn in as the first-ever tribal president of the country after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party scooped up over 60% of the total vote value in the parliament for their preferred candidate.
Following the sweeping win in the Indian presidential elections, many congratulatory messages for Murmu poured in from the world leaders, notably from Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and North Korea’s Kim.
“I take this opportunity to express my conviction that the long-standing and traditional relations of friendship and cooperation between our two countries will develop in conformity with the aspirations and desire of the peoples of the two countries. I also wish you successes in your responsible work for the development and prosperity of the country,” Kim said in a congratulatory message to Murmu.
Why It Matters: North Korea and India share neutral bilateral ties. Before India implemented the United Nations Security Council economic sanctions on North Korea in April 2017, it used to be one of North Korea's biggest trade partners and a major food aid provider.
According to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade, Indian exports to North Korea stood at $439,000 in 2021.