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Kim tells Putin: Russia will win against 'evil' in Ukraine

Aftermath of a Russian drone attack in Kyiv

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday via a translator that he was sure that the Russian army and people would triumph against "evil", in what he cast as the West's imperialism in the war in Ukraine.

Before proposing a toast to Putin's health, the victory of "great Russia", Korean-Russian friendship and the health of all those present, Kim said he was confident Russia would win in what Moscow calls its "special military operation" in Ukraine.

"I am deeply convinced that the heroic Russian army and people will brilliantly inherit the tradition of victory, confidently demonstrate invaluable dignity and honour on the fronts of the special military operation," Kim said via a translator before raising a glass of wine.

"The Russian army and people will certainly win a great victory in the sacred struggle for the punishment of a great evil that claims hegemony and feeds an expansionist illusion," Kim added.

Putin and Kim were offered a menu including duck and fig salad, crab dumplings, sturgeon and beef with a choice of Russian wines, according to Kremlin reporters.

Western intelligence agencies suspect that Russia is looking to acquire North Korean weapons and ammunition to use in its military campaign in Ukraine, something both Moscow and Pyongyang have denied.

(Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Gareth Jones)