North Korea recognizes breakaway regions in Ukraine; kyiv cuts ties


North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son-Hui (left) has officially recognized the Russian-backed breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, state media reported on Thursday. File photo by Bui Lam Khanh/EPA-EFE

SEOUL, July 14 (UPI) — North Korea has officially recognized two pro-Russian breakaway regions in Ukraine, state media said Thursday, becoming the third nation to do so.

Pyongyang’s Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui sent letters to her counterparts in the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk on Wednesday, the Korean Central News Agency reported.

Choe wrote that North Korea “decided to recognize the independence” of the two eastern regions of Ukraine and “expressed the will to develop state-to-state relations with these countries with the idea of independence, peace and friendship,” KCNA said.

Fighting between Russian-backed rebels and Ukrainian government forces erupted in 2014 in the region, also known as Donbas, with separatists controlling parts of both industrial hubs ever since.

In February, Russian President Vladimir recognized the self-declared people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk – also known as DNR and LNR – shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Last month, Syria became the second country to establish diplomatic relations with the two quasi-states.

On Wednesday, Kyiv announced it was severing diplomatic ties with North Korea over the move, calling it “an attempt by Pyongyang to undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

“Russia’s call on the DPRK to support legitimizing the forcible seizure of part of Ukrainian territory says more about Moscow’s toxicity than Pyongyang’s,” said Ukraine’s business minister foreign Dmytro Kuleba in a statement.

“Russia no longer has any allies in the world, except for countries that depend on it financially and politically, and the level of isolation of the Russian Federation will soon reach the level of isolation of the DPRK,” Kuleba added.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the official name of North Korea.

North Korea has publicly expressed support for the Russian invasion, blaming NATO expansion and US “hegemonic politics” for creating the crisis in Ukraine.

Russia, meanwhile, joined China in vetoing a US-led UN Security Council resolution to impose additional sanctions on North Korea in May, pointing out a growing geopolitical divide.

Comments are closed.