© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A U.S. M1A2 “Abrams” tank moves into firing positions during the U.S.-led joint military exercise “Noble Partner 2016” near Vaziani, Georgia May 18, 2016. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili/File Photo
Author: Josh Smith
SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea criticized the U.S. decision to send tanks to Ukraine for a second day on Sunday, calling it an “unethical crime” aimed at perpetuating a volatile international situation.
Washington’s claims that North Korea has supplied weapons to Russia are “baseless rumours” to justify its own military aid to Ukraine, Kwon Chung-keun, director of US affairs at North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, said in a statement carried by state news agency KCNA.
“The US is working hard to supply such offensive weapons as (main battle tanks) to Ukraine at any cost, ignoring the legitimate concerns and criticism of the international community,” the statement said. “This is an unethical crime aimed at keeping the international situation unstable.”
Baseless claims of arming North Korea and Russia are “a grave provocation that must never be allowed” and sustaining them will bring a “really undesirable result,” Kwon added.
On Saturday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong, denounced US promises of battle tanks to Ukraine, claiming that Washington “continues to cross the red line” to gain hegemony through war, KCNA reported.
Nuclear-armed North Korea launched an unprecedented number of missiles last year, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching the US mainland. US and South Korean officials have also warned that the North could be preparing for its first test of a nuclear device since 2017.
The White House said in December that North Korea had completed the initial delivery of cruise missiles and missiles to the private Russian military company Wagner Group, to support Russian forces in Ukraine.