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Russia, North Korea Declare 'Year Of Friendship'

Russia and North Korea have declared 2015 a "year of friendship."

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on March 11 it agreed to start a program of cultural exchanges with the regime in Pyongyang aimed at taking ties between the once Cold War allies to a "new high level."

Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un to Moscow to take part in commemorations on May 9 marking the 70th anniversary of Nazi Germany's defeat.

It would be Kim's first trip abroad since taking over following the death of his father, Kim Jong-Il, in 2011.

The events come as Moscow is facing growing international isolation over its actions in Ukraine.

The UN imposed sanctions on North Korea after it conducted a third underground nuclear test in 2013, as well as a series of subsequent missile launches.

Based on reporting by AFP and

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