• North Korea's Foreign Ministry did not reveal information about the letter's contents
  • Pyongyang’s ties with Britain have deteriorated over the recent years
  • North Korea previously slammed Britain for supporting sanctions against its nuclear ambitions

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has sent a congratulatory letter to Queen Elizabeth II as Britain celebrates the monarch’s 70th year on the throne with four days of festivities.

North Korea’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday said that Kim congratulated the 96-year-old queen and Britain in a letter. However, the ministry refused to provide any details about the content of the letter or any information about when it was sent, as first reported by Associated Press.

Britain and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) first established diplomatic relations in 2000. To this day, both countries have maintained embassies in each other’s capitals even as bilateral ties between the British and North Korean governments continue to sour.

Over the recent years, North Korea’s ties with Britain have deteriorated after Pyongyang criticized the Western country for supporting international sanctions against it for its nuclear ambitions. Britain also supported sanctions against two organizations, namely the Ministry of State Security Bureau 7 and the Ministry of People’s Security Correctional Bureau, for their role in the forced labor, torture and murder in prison camps in North Korea.

In 2017, the United Kingdom announced it froze the assets of North Korean company the Korean National Insurance Corporation (KNIC) on accusations that it was funding the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program.

The letter comes as Britain celebrated the first of the four days of festivities of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. The first day featured a military parade of at least 1,200 officers, hundreds of Army musicians and a 41-gun salute. The day ended with the national thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral. However, the British monarch skipped the service after experiencing some discomfort, according to Buckingham Palace.

“Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow’s National Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Her Majesty with great reluctance has concluded she will not attend,” the palace said in a statement, adding that the queen experienced mobility issues during the festivities.

Queen Elizabeth II is currently the longest-reigning queen in the world, surpassing Queen Victoria who ruled for 63 years.

Queen Elizabeth
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 02: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Louis of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge watch a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour on June 2, 2022 in London, England. Trooping The Colour, also known as The Queen's Birthday Parade, is a military ceremony performed by regiments of the British Army that has taken place since the mid-17th century. It marks the official birthday of the British Sovereign. This year, from June 2 to June 5, 2022, there is the added celebration of the Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne on 6 February 1952. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

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