Moscow: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that Moscow wants to develop “equal and fair cooperation” with North Korea despite sanctions imposed on Pyongyang by the UN Security Council, Al Jazeera reported on Sunday.

The Kremlin earlier said it abides by UN sanctions, but that it has a right to develop neighbourly relations, including in relation to sensitive topics.

“We have not declared sanctions against North Korea, the Security Council did that. So appeal to the Security Council, and we will develop equal and fair cooperation with the DPRK,” Al Jazeera quoted Lavrov as saying in a state TV interview, excerpts of which were broadcast on Sunday.

Notably, the US and its allies have raised concerns about warming military ties between the two neighbours as Russia presses its invasion of Ukraine and North Korea, a reclusive communist state, proceeds with missile and nuclear development.

In another remark, Lavrov slammed the US accusing it of “controlling the war in Ukraine” and “pursuing a war against Russia”, TASS News Agency reported citing an excerpt from a TV program that Russian journalist Pavel Zarubin posted on his Telegram channel.

“No matter what it says, it (the US) controls this war, it supplies weapons, munition, intelligence information, data from satellites; it is pursuing a war against us,” TASS quoted Lavrov as saying Lavrov also stated that the delivery of long-range weapons would “not change the essence of what is going on in Ukraine”.

“What is going on is that Ukraine has been prepared, has long been prepared for inflicting strategic defeat to Russia” Lavrov added.

Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un concluded his visit to Russia on Sunday. The standout moment of his trip was when he received five explosive drones, a reconnaissance drone and a bulletproof vest as gifts from a regional governor on his Moscow visit, Al Jazeera reported.

In Vladivostok on Saturday, he met with the Russian Defence minister and viewed cutting-edge armaments, including a hypersonic missile system.

Notably, the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un arrived in Russia on Tuesday for a closely watched summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Kim Jong Un's visit to Russia marks his first foreign trip since the COVID-19 pandemic as during the pandemic, North Korea's borders were sealed.

Issuing support to Moscow in the ongoing war in Ukraine, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told President Vladimir Putin that Russia will emerge victorious in the fight to “punish the evil forces”, adding that he would "always be standing with Russia”, according to CNN.

He praised Russia for having “stood up against the hegemonic forces” to defend its sovereignty and security – a veiled reference to the US and the West – and said he has expressed “the full and unconditional support to all that Russia does in response."