US, S. Korea, Japan condemn deepening Moscow-Pyongyang ties

Washington, June 24 (Agency) Washington, Seoul and Tokyo have strongly condemned the developing ties between Russia and North Korea, saying the countries’ military cooperation prolongs the Ukraine conflict and violates a number of UN Security Council resolutions, according to a joint statement released by the US Department of State on Monday. “The United States, South Korea, and Japan condemn in the strongest possible terms deepening military cooperation between the North Korea and Russia, including continued arms transfers from the North Korea to Russia that prolong the suffering of the Ukrainian people, violate multiple United Nations Security Council Resolutions, and threaten stability in both Northeast Asia and Europe,” the joint statement read. The parties expressed their concern over the treaty on comprehensive strategic partnership signed last week in the course of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Pyongyang, saying it posed threats to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and to the global non-proliferation regime.

“The United States, ROK, and Japan reaffirm their intention to further strengthen diplomatic and security cooperation to counter the threats the DPRK poses to regional and global security and to prevent escalation of the situation,” the statement added. Last week, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa said Japan was seriously concerned by the deepening ties between Russia and North Korea and planned to keep tabs on their interactions. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a call with South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul condemned on Friday military cooperation between Russia and North Korea, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said. Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed the comprehensive strategic partnership treaty in Pyongyang on Wednesday. The treaty includes a pledge by the two countries to provide military assistance if either comes under attack. Kim said the pact envisioned the development of economic, political and military cooperation, while Putin did not rule out closer military cooperation with Pyongyang. The treaty will go into effect upon ratification.