The queen has raised eyebrows by extending her “well wishes” to North Korea on the national holiday, while Kim Jong-un continued to test missiles.
Her Majesty sent the message via Foreign Affairs on September 7, in time for the celebrations two days later.
Buckingham Palace and the FCDO confirm that the congratulations have been given ‘as done before’.
But the timing confused people, as it was just days before North Korea started flexing its muscles again.
In recent days, the country has launched two ballistic missiles and fired a new kind of weapon with possible nuclear capabilities.
Her Majesty (pictured last month) sent the message through the State Department on September 7, in time for the celebrations two days later
Kim Jong-un fired two ballistic missiles that landed near North Korea’s east coast on Wednesday, the South Korean military said.
The test comes just three days after North Korea fired a new kind of cruise missile (pictured), which analysts believe could carry a nuclear warhead.
Local media said the report read: “As the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea celebrate their national day, I send my best wishes for the future.”
But it was not handed over to the British press or published on the Royal’s social media account, as has become standard practice.
North Korea celebrated the country’s 73rd birthday with a typical display of military strength in Pyongyang.
Her Majesty is said to have written similar letters with the country in the past, on the advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
But experts are baffled by the move, as it marks the first time her post has been published.
Aidan Foster-Carter, a North Korean expert at the University of Leeds, told the Telegraph“With North Korea in the doghouse, it’s an interesting time for us to send a gesture of friendship.
“The most important thing we need to know is what exactly has changed here. It certainly appears to be the first time that North Korean media have published such a greeting from Her Majesty the Queen.”
He added: ‘We need to know who changed their policy: the UK shipping for the first time?
Or North Korea, which publishes for the first time. If the former is the case, even more questions arise. Why now? And on whose initiative?’
North Korean media said the report was received on September 7, two days before the communist state celebrated the 73rd anniversary of its founding. Above: the nighttime military parade that marked the day
The state newspaper Rodong Sinmun ran the report on page two along with those of other foreign leaders, such as Chinese President Xi Jinping.
North Korea is said to have sent messages to Her Majesty on the occasion of her official birthday.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “Her Majesty is acting on the advice of the FCDO in all dealings with other heads of state.”
A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “As in previous years, the Queen has sent a message to the people of the DPRK on the occasion of their national holiday.”
Meanwhile, North Korea tested two ballistic missiles today, days after firing a new type of cruise missile with possible nuclear capabilities.
Hours after reports of the North Korean test, South Korea’s presidential office said it conducted its first underwater-launched ballistic missile test (pictured) on Wednesday afternoon.
A domestically built South Korean missile fired from a 3,000-ton submarine flew a certain distance before hitting a designated target
The South Korean military said the two missiles were fired from an undisclosed inland location before landing somewhere near the east coast.
The move is likely intended as a provocation to Joe Biden and other world leaders as ballistic missile tests violate UN resolutions on the North’s weapons program.
Hours later, South Korea’s presidential office said it conducted its first underwater-launched ballistic missile test on Wednesday afternoon.
It said a domestically-built missile fired from a 3,000-ton submarine flew a certain distance before hitting a designated target.
The statement said the weapon is expected to help Seoul deter potential external threats, strengthen its self-defense and promote peace in the Korean peninsula.
It comes two weeks after Kim Jong Un restarted a nuclear reactor in Yongbyon, which had been shut down during negotiations with Donald Trump.
Kim had shut down much of his nuclear program and sunk his main nuclear testing site during the negotiations, in which he hoped to convince Trump to lift crippling economic sanctions in exchange for giving up his nuclear weapons permanently.
The leaders met three times — a historic feat for Kim, who was the first North Korean leader ever to meet a US president — but talks eventually broke down and both sides failed to reach an agreement.
Since then, North Korea has conducted a series of low-level missile tests in an effort to force America back to the negotiating table.
Joe Biden has said he is willing to meet with Kim, but said the precondition for such a meeting would be a serious commitment to scrap his nuclear arsenal.