North Korea has denied the U.S.’ claims that the country is providing Russia with weapons in its ongoing war with Ukraine.
In a statement to the Korean Central News Agency, Kwon Jong Gun, director general of the Department of U.S. Affairs, accused the U.S. of concocting a “groundless rumor of ‘arms dealing between the DPRK and Russia,’ in a foolish attempt to justify its offer of weapons to Ukraine.”
“It is an illegal act to call into question the legitimate right to national defense of a sovereign state,” he said. “Moreover, trying to tarnish the image of the DPRK by fabricating a non-existent thing is a grave provocation that can never be allowed and that cannot but trigger its reaction.”
The comments came after President Biden said on Wednesday that the United States will send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, reversing months of arguments by Washington that they were too difficult for Ukrainian troops to operate and maintain.
Kim Yo-jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and a member of North Korea’s State of Affairs Commission, said the U.S. was crossing a “red line” by sending the tanks to Ukraine, according to the Yonhap News Agency, a South Korean media outlet.
Kwon said the U.S. decision to send tanks demonstrated the country’s supposed “deformed and gangster-like” ways of thinking “which frequently introduces nuclear strike means into the Korean peninsula under the pretext of providing ‘extended deterrence’ against ‘provocation’ of someone.”
“The U.S. should be mindful that it will face a really undesirable result if it persists in spreading the self-made rumor against the DPRK,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.