US says it will ‘keep an eye on’ whether North Korea sends troops into Ukraine

Posted on : 2024-06-27 17:33 KST Modified on : 2024-06-27 17:33 KST
The Pentagon said its stance on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula had not changed
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ahead of their summit in Pyongyang on June 19, 2024. (KCNA/Yonhap)
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ahead of their summit in Pyongyang on June 19, 2024. (KCNA/Yonhap)

The US Department of Defense said that it would “keep an eye on” the possibility of North Korea sending troops to Ukraine on behalf of Russia as the two sides bolster military closeness. 

During a press briefing on Tuesday, Pentagon spokesperson Pat Ryder remarked, “I think that if I were North Korean military personnel management, I would be questioning my choices on sending my forces to be cannon fodder in an illegal war against Ukraine.”

Earlier this week, Pak Jong-chon, the vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea, issued a statement via the state-run Korean Central News Agency condemning US support for Ukraine. 

“If the rulers of the US persist in recklessly pushing their war machine into Ukraine for a proxy war against Russia, it will inevitably provoke a stronger response from Russia,” Pak wrote in a piece published Monday. 

“Of course, Russia has the right to opt for any kind of retaliatory strike. We will always be together with the Russian army and people all out in a just struggle for defending sovereign rights, strategic stability and territorial integrity of their country,” he went on.

Regarding renewed calls for South Korea to acquire its own nuclear arms to counter the solidifying military alliance between North Korea and Russia, Ryder flatly stated, “Our policy hasn’t changed as it relates to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

“We’ll continue to work closely with ROK and Japanese allies and others in the region to ensure security and stability throughout the Indo-Pacific,” Ryder added. 

Ryder also confirmed that US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Russian Defense Minister Andrey Belousov recently conversed over the phone. This is the first public acknowledgment of a phone call between the two countries’ defense ministers since March of last year, when Austin conversed with his Russian counterpart at the time, Sergei Shoigu.

“During the call, the secretary [Austin] emphasized the importance of maintaining lines of communication amid Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine,” Ryder added. The Pentagon spokesperson said that Austin initiated the call. 

By Kim Mi-na, staff reporter

Please direct questions or comments to []

button that move to original korean article (클릭시 원문으로 이동하는 버튼)

Related stories

Most viewed articles