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North Korea Responds: Dismissing U.S. and Allied Criticism of Ties with Russia as ‘Distorted’

FILE – In this June 12, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump, left, and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un walk from their lunch at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island in Singapore. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

A recent denunciation of Pyongyang’s alleged weaponry transfers to Russia by the US and its allies was criticized by North Korea as being politicized and misleading.

In a statement on Saturday, North Korea criticized a recent denunciation of Pyongyang’s alleged military shipments to Russia by the United States and its allies as being politicized and twisted and said that Pyongyang had a “steadfast will” to strengthen ties with Russia.

Choe Son Hui, the foreign minister of North Korea, criticized military cooperation between the US, South Korea, and Japan and asserted that Pyongyang’s ties to Moscow will play a “powerful strategic” role in the event that regional security is compromised.

To address the North’s increasing nuclear and missile threats, the United States, South Korea, and Japan have been building up their trilateral security cooperation.

When their leaders met in September in the deep east of Russia, North Korea and Russia agreed to expand their military cooperation. This month, Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister of Russia, met with Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, to discuss putting the summit’s accords into practice.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK, as it is known officially, is the name given to the North. “It is the steadfast will and stand of the DPRK to comprehensively expand and develop bilateral relations with the Russian Federation,” Choe said, adding that their ties will reach a “new higher phase through full implementation of the agreements.”

According to the North Korean state news agency, the United States has been warned that it “will be made to pay dearly” for any criticism of the country’s human rights record.

The threat is only the most recent in a string of warnings from North Korea. A senior North Korean official stated earlier this month that the US will get a “Christmas gift” from the country, but the specifics of that gift will depend on the fate of current negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.

According to a US administration official who spoke to CNN on Friday, North Korea may be getting ready to test missile engines and other parts, but senior military commanders stated that the US is prepared for “whatever” Pyongyang may do.

In a statement on Saturday, the KCNA news agency warned that “the US will be made to pay dearly for such an act” if it dared to undermine our system by raising the “human rights issue.”

The spokeswoman for North Korea’s foreign ministry charged the “Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor of the U.S. The KCNA statement accused the “State Department” of making “reckless remarks against the DPRK” in an interview with Voice of America.

Robert Destro, the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, told Voice of America during the interview that the United States was “deeply concerned about what’s going on in North Korea.”

Voice of America paraphrased Destro as adding, “I think the credible evidence that’s coming out of North Korea speaks for itself.”

According to a spokeswoman for the North Korean foreign ministry, Destro’s “malicious words” come at a time when US-North Korean ties are “reaching a highly delicate point” and will exacerbate the already tense situation on the Korean peninsula. “Like pouring oil over a burning fire,” according to KCNA.

The spokeswoman said that North Koreans “fully enjoy genuine freedom and rights, being the masters of the country” and “that human rights are the state rights and the sovereign rights of country and nation.”

The nuclear program of North Korea, which threatens US allies South Korea and Japan as well as the tens of thousands of US soldiers stationed in each nation, has been the subject of negotiations by the Trump administration. Even as Pyongyang explored technological upgrades to its program that may progressively put the US within range of its rockets, those negotiations have faltered.

Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, responded on Friday when asked about recent remarks and indications from North Korea that Pyongyang might be getting closer to conducting a long-range missile test or some other provocative act, saying that the Pentagon does not “discuss any intelligence or indicators” on what the US may be witnessing in terms of preparations by Pyongyang.

US, South Korea, and Japan build their trilateral security cooperation

The shipment of weaponry and military hardware to Russia by North Korea was fiercely denounced by South Korea, Japan, and the United States, which claimed to have verified “several” such supplies.

In a joint statement released on Thursday, South Korea, Japan, and the United States strongly denounced the sale of weapons and military hardware to Russia by North Korea and claimed to have verified “several” such supplies.

Despite information that Washington and scholars said indicated transit of vessels carrying containers possibly carrying weapons between the ports of the two nations, Russia and North Korea have denied receiving weaponry transfers from the North for use in Russia’s conflict against Ukraine.


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