Russian Embassy voices “deep regret” over Yoon’s criticism of Pyongyang-Moscow dealings

Posted on : 2023-09-22 16:51 KST Modified on : 2023-09-22 16:51 KST
The Russian Embassy in Seoul posted a statement to its official Facebook page
President Yoon Suk-yeol of South Korea delivers a keynote address at the UN General Assembly in New York on Sept. 20. (Yonhap)
President Yoon Suk-yeol of South Korea delivers a keynote address at the UN General Assembly in New York on Sept. 20. (Yonhap)

The Russian Embassy in Seoul expressed “deep regret” on Thursday over South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol’s address before the UN General Assembly, in which he warned against arms deals between North Korea and Russia.

On its official Facebook page, the embassy wrote that it “causes deep regret” that Yoon “joined the propaganda campaign initiated by Washington and picked up by the American and South Korean media aimed at discrediting Russian-North Korean cooperation.”

The embassy further wrote that it regards such “speculative and baseless statements” as being “provocative and confrontational, in line with the aggressive hybrid war unleashed against our country by the collective West led by the United States.”

Earlier, in his address to the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, Yoon railed against any possible military dealings between Russia and North Korea.

“If [North Korea] acquires the information and technology necessary to enhance its WMD capabilities in exchange for supporting Russia with conventional weapons, such a deal between Russia and [North Korea] will be a direct provocation threatening the peace and security of not only Ukraine but also the Republic of Korea,” the South Korean president said in his address. “The Republic of Korea, together with its allies and partners, will not stand idly by.”

In response, the Russian Embassy wrote that Russia “invariably complies with all of its international obligations, including those related to the development of relations with our good neighbor and long-time partner, the DPRK,” referring to North Korea.

“We call on the leadership of the Republic of Korea, with which Russia has solid experience of mutually beneficial communication and cooperation, to base their actions on a sober and objective assessment of the current situation as well as the negative consequences of Seoul’s continued pursuit of the anti-Russian line for bilateral Russian-South Korean relations and the situation on the Korean Peninsula,” the embassy wrote.

Earlier in the day, South Korea announced that it had designated 10 individuals and two entities, including North Korean Defense Minister Kang Sun-nam, as targets for sanctions due to their involvement in North Korea’s nuclear and missile development.

The targets include four individuals (three North Koreans and one Slovakian) and two organizations who Seoul says engaged in illicit financial transactions in Russia and elsewhere.

North Korean officials involved in nuclear and missile development include Defense Minister Kang Sun-nam; the former chief of the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army, Park Su-il; and the party secretary of the Academy of National Defense Science, Ri Song-hak.

Kang recently accompanied North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on his trip to Russia.

By Jang Ye-ji, staff reporter

Please direct questions or comments to [english@hani.co.kr]

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