North Korea recognizes Donbass republics
North Korea has become the third UN member to recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. A member of North Korea’s diplomatic mission in Moscow confirmed the move to the news agency RIA on Wednesday. The two Donbass republics had already been recognized by Russia and Syria.
“This morning, there was a meeting with an ambassador of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and she received a note suggesting that we recognize the DPR’s independence,” a North Korean diplomatic official told RIA.
The DPR embassy in Moscow confirmed the meeting and released a photo of the envoy, Olga Makeeva, receiving the note from North Korea’s ambassador to Moscow, Sin Hong-chol. “The sides agreed to take further steps to establish diplomatic relations,” the embassy’s statement read. The DPR’s leader, Denis Pushilin, also thanked Pyongyang for its “impressive support of the Donbass people.”
Pushilin had earlier confirmed the development on his Telegram channel, calling it “another victory of our diplomacy.” The recognition is a sign that the DPR’s “international status and its nationhood are consolidating,” he added. He also expressed his hope that the two nations would be able to develop trade and an economic partnership.
According to the North Korean embassy, a meeting with a Lugansk People’s Republic’s (LPR) ambassador is expected to take place shortly. Pyongyang has already informed the Russian ambassador to North Korea, Aleksandr Matsegora, about its decision to recognize both Donbass republics.
Russia recognized the independence of the two Donbass republics in February. Days after doing so, it began its military operation in Ukraine, which had the aim of, among other things, protecting the two republics. Syria was the second nation to acknowledge the republics’ independence, having done so in late June. Kiev severed its diplomatic ties with Damascus in response and also said it would impose a trade embargo on Syria over the move.