North Korea responds to criticism from Ukraine
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry has dismissed Ukrainian protests following Pyongyang’s recognition of the two Donbass republics, which Kiev considers part of its territory.
DPRK diplomats have insisted that Ukraine had itself breached Pyongyang’s sovereignty in the past by joining “unjust and illegal” US sanctions against the country.
In a statement released by the DPRK’s state media on Friday, the country’s Foreign Ministry argued that Kiev had sided with Washington in targeting its weapons programs. The officials insisted that the military capabilities developed by Pyongyang were merely a self-defense deterrence, and hence the sanctions imposed by the US and its allies had no legal basis.
Ukraine has no right to “raise issue or dispute our legitimate exercise of sovereignty after committing an act that severely lacks fairness and justice between nations by actively joining the U.S. unjust and illegal hostile policy in the past,” the diplomats charged.
Pyongyang’s representatives added that North Korea would “continue to strengthen and develop friendship and cooperation with all countries that respect our sovereignty and treat us favorably.”
On Wednesday, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement announcing that it was severing diplomatic ties with North Korea, after Pyongyang recognized the “so-called ‘independence’ of the territories temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.”
Kiev insisted that with its decision, the DPRK was attempting to “undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”
Kiev’s statement came shortly after the head of the DPR, Denis Pushilin, posted a message on his Telegram channel, which said that the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has recognized the Donetsk People’s Republic.”
The DPR’s diplomatic mission in Moscow confirmed the same day that the North Korean ambassador had handed over an official document on the republic’s recognition to his DPR counterpart.
South Ossetia, which has itself been recognized as an independent state by a handful of countries, including Russia, announced back in 2014 that it would officially consider both the DPR and LPR to be sovereign states.
On February 21, 2022, Russia recognized the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
Partially-recognized Abkhazia followed suit later that month and Syria did as well in late June.