North Korea on Friday slammed Ukraine for severing diplomatic ties between the two nations, after Pyongyang said it was formally recognising two self-proclaimed pro-Russian republics in the east of the war-torn country.
Ukraine said on Wednesday it was cutting its official relationship with the nuclear-armed state in response to Pyongyang recognising the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic.
The North’s move came after another Russian ally, Syria, did the same last month.
“Ukraine… has no right and qualification to take issue with the DPRK over its legitimate exercise of sovereignty,” a foreign ministry spokesman in Pyongyang was quoted as saying by the official KCNA news agency, using the North’s official name.
The spokesman also accused Kyiv of pursuing acts “contrary to impartiality and justice in the state-to-state relations while aligning itself with the US”, which he said had driven “unreasonable and illegal hostile policy” toward the North.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said earlier this week Russia had appealed to North Korea to recognise the territory in a move that “speaks more about Moscow’s toxicity than Pyongyang’s”.
Russia recognised the self-proclaimed republics shortly before it launched its invasion of pro-European neighbour Ukraine on February 24.
KCNA said Thursday morning the country “decided to recognise the independence of the People’s Republic of Donetsk and the People’s Republic of Lugansk and expressed the will to develop the state-to-state relations with those countries in the idea of independence, peace and friendship“.