| 5 December 2023, Tuesday |

North Korea defends ties with Russia, says US criticism ‘distorted’

On Saturday, October 28, North Korea criticized the USA’s condemnation of its deepening relations with Russia, labeling it as politicized and distorted. North Korea emphasized that its unwavering determination in Pyongyang was the driving force behind its choice to enhance these ties.
Choe Son Hui, the North Korean Foreign Minister spoke against military co-operation between South Korea, Japan and the US and said that if security in the region is threatened, North Korea’s relations with Russia will be a “powerful strategic element’.

“It is the steadfast will and stand of the DPRK to comprehensively expand and develop the bilateral relations with the Russian Federation,” Choe said, adding that their ties will reach a “new higher phase through full implementation of the agreements.”
The US, Japan and South Korea on Thursday said that they has confirmed ‘several’ deliveries of weapons from North Korea to Russia and strongly condemned the supply.

Russia and North Korea continue to say that the transferred arms are being used in Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine.

“If they were curious to prove that the specific sphere of cooperation between the DPRK and Russia posed a ‘threat’ to international peace and security, they should have to clarify beforehand why their triangular military alliance is not regarded as a threat to regional peace and security,” Choe said in a statement carried by the North’s KCNA news agency.

South Korea, Japan and the US have stepped up trilateral security co-operation in order to combat the North’s growing nuclear and missile threats.

North Korean and Russian leaders met in September in Russian far east. This month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

Just two days ago, Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Russia intends to establish close ties with North Korea ‘in all areas’. He was asked about accusations about the ties from the US, Japan and South Korea.

“There are many such reports, they are all groundless as a rule, there are no specifics. Such reports have been around for a long time. We see no point in commenting on this,” he said.

He added: “North Korea is our neighbour and we continue and will continue to develop close relations in all areas.”

When asked about weapons deliveries and whether they has indeed taken place, Peskov said, “We don’t comment on this in any way.”

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