North Korea's Kim Jong Un Congratulates Vladimir Putin on Election Win

Updated | North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent a "heartfelt congratulations" to his counterpart, Russian President Vladimir Putin on his landslide re-election victory in leading the world's largest country for another six years.

"Your reelection as president is an expression of your people's great support and trust in you," read Tuesday's message, which was quoted by state media Korean Central News Agency.

North Korea's leader said the country's relationship with Russia is built on "friendship and cooperation." Kim also wished Putin "success in your work to build powerful Russia."

Putin, who is now Russia's longest-serving ruler since Joseph Stalin, was seen as a shoe-in to Sunday's vote. In an election that has been panned internationally for ballot stuffing and for being "overly controlled" by monitors, Putin won close to 77 percent of votes.

The way in which top leaders have responded to Putin's win has been a telling sign of geopolitics. The U.S. has raised concerns over Moscow helping North Korea evade sanctions and undercut efforts by the international community to curb the regime's development of nuclear weapons.

The West has been pointedly slower in offering congratulations amid tensions following the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has yet to comment on Putin's re-election, while French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel made customary calls to Putin, but also voiced that dialogue was needed to address policy challenges.

Amid an ongoing investigation on whether there was collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign, the White House just days ago slapped a round of sanctions on Moscow in retaliation for 2016 election meddling. On Tuesday, Trump offered his congratulations to Putin and said the two "had a very good call." He added that the arms race is "getting out of control" and the countries would meet soon to discuss that rise.

Meanwhile Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is a close ally to Russia, said that current China-Russia partnership is "at the best level in history" on Monday, according to the official Chinese media Xinhua News Agency.

This article has been updated to add Trump's response to his call with Putin.

North Korea's Kim Jong Un Congratulates Vladimir Putin on Election Win | World