SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea's vice foreign minister in a meeting with the Russian ambassador on Sunday said he supported any decision by the Russian leadership to deal with a recent mutiny, North Korean state media reported.
Im Chon Il, the vice foreign minister, "expressed firm belief that the recent armed rebellion in Russia would be successfully put down in conformity with the aspiration and will of the Russian people," state KCNA news agency said.
Heavily armed Russian mercenaries who advanced most of the way to Moscow this weekend halted their approach, de-escalating a major challenge to President Vladimir Putin's grip on power, in a move their leader said would avoid bloodshed.
North Korea has sought to forge closer ties with the Kremlin and backed Moscow after it invaded Ukraine last year, blaming the "hegemonic policy" of the United States and the West.
Im also said he believed the Russian army would "overcome trials and ordeals and heroically emerge victorious in the special military operation against Ukraine," according to KCNA.
(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Tom Hogue)