North Korea says United States is ‘root cause’ of Ukraine invasion

WION Web Team
Pyongyang, North Korea Updated: Feb 27, 2022, 03:36 PM(IST)

In this combination of file photos, US President Joe Biden can be seen along with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un Photograph:( Agencies )

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Washington has pursued 'military supremacy in disregard of the legitimate demand of Russia for its security' according to the commentary, attributed to Ri Ji Song, a researcher at the North's Society for International Politics Study

In its first comments since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, North Korea's foreign ministry posted a statement by a researcher calling the United States the "root cause" of the European crisis for pursuing unilateral sanctions and pressure while disregarding Russia's legitimate demands for its security.

Washington has pursued "military supremacy in disregard of the legitimate demand of Russia for its security" according to the commentary, attributed to Ri Ji Song, a researcher at the North's Society for International Politics Study.

"The root cause of the Ukrainian crisis also lies in the high-handedness and arbitrariness of the US," said the post uploaded on the North's foreign ministry website.

Ri slammed the US for holding a "double standard," saying it meddled in the internal affairs of other countries in the name of "peace and stability" but "but it denounces for no good reason self-defensive measures taken by other countries to ensure their own national security."

"Gone are the days when the U.S. used to reign supreme," the post said.

Also see | From curiosity to cataclysm: Russian President Vladimir Putin's relationship with the West

The response is a "low-key" official reaction as it was published under an individual name, said Park Won-gon, a professor of North Korean Studies at Ewha Woman's University.

"Putin’s War shapes almost all geopolitics right now, and should factor somewhere in Kim’s calculus — but even 'taking advantage of distraction' seems to presume too much, since (North Korea) was already testing aggressively before the war," John Delury, a professor at South Korea's Yonsei University, said on Twitter.

To aid Ukraine’s ability to hold out, the US pledged an additional $350 million in military assistance to Ukraine, including anti-tank weapons, body armor, and small arms. Germany said it would send missiles and anti-tank weapons to the besieged country and that it would close its airspace to Russian planes.

Also read | US, UK, EU to put crippling sanctions on Russian central bank, block SWIFT

The US, European Union, and the United Kingdom agreed to block “selected” Russian banks from the SWIFT global financial messaging system, which moves money around more than 11,000 banks and other financial institutions worldwide, part of a new round of sanctions aiming to impose a severe cost on Moscow for the invasion. They also agreed to impose ”restrictive measures” on Russia’s central bank.

As Russia pushes ahead with its offensive, the West is working to equip the outnumbered Ukrainian forces with weapons and ammunition while punishing Russia with far-reaching sanctions intended to further isolate Moscow.

President Vladimir Putin hasn’t disclosed his ultimate plans, but Western officials believe he is determined to overthrow Ukraine’s government and replace it with a regime of his own, redrawing the map of Europe and reviving Moscow’s Cold War-era influence.

Ukraine’s health minister reported Saturday that 198 people, including three children, had been killed and more than 1,000 others wounded during Europe’s largest land war since World War II.

(With inputs from agencies)

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