Fri, 08 Dec 2023

The North Korean deputy foreign minister has rebuffed Washington's criticism of Moscow-Pyongyang relations

North Korea's deputy foreign minister has accused the US of "unjust and outrageous hostility" towards Pyongyang and Moscow, saying it shows Washington's hegemonic mentality based on Cold War logic.

"The US ill-minded repugnancy toward the North Korea-Russia relations only reveals that it lacks power and wits in the showdown with the anti-imperialist independent countries," Im Chon Il said in a statement on Sunday.

The security alliance between the US, South Korea and Japan - as well as the Washington-led NATO military bloc - are "cancer-like entities jeopardizing the international order," the diplomat claimed, describing NATO as "the mastermind of the Ukrainian crisis."

Im went on to say relations between North Korea and Russia have reached "the height of development" due to actions by the US and its allies, who "have gone to the extremes in their confrontational and divisive moves for gaining hegemony."

North Korea intends to further boost its ties with Russia and other "independent sovereign countries" in order to "deter the imperialists' military threat... and firmly defend peace and security on the Korean peninsula and in the rest of the world," the diplomat insisted.

Last month, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un spent almost a week in Russia, arriving in the country's Far East by train. During the visit, he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and other officials. Among other things, Kim toured the Vostochny Cosmodrome, inspected military and civilian aviation plants, and was shown Russia's nuclear-capable strategic bombers and fighter jets, including a MiG-31 aircraft armed with the Kinzhal hypersonic missile.

The visit caused serious concerns in Seoul and Washington, with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol claiming that "military cooperation between North Korea and Russia is illegal and unjust as it contravenes UN Security Council resolutions and various other international sanctions."

Similar comments were made by US officials, who also speculated that Putin and Kim had been discussing the supply of shells by North Korea to Russia amid the conflict in Ukraine. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby warned that if Moscow and Pyongyang were to "decide to move forward with some sort of arms deals, well, obviously we'll take a measure of that, and we'll deal with it appropriately."

READ MORE: South Korea and US issue warning to Russia

Putin said last month that Russia intends to build "good neighborly relations" with North Korea. "We never violate anything and in this case we're not planning to violate anything," the Russian leader said, referring to claims that cooperation between Moscow and Pyongyang were in violation of UN sanctions on North Korea. There was no mention of any arms deals being signed during Kim's visit to Russia, by either Moscow or Pyongyang.

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