West News Wire: The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has denounced the US plan to arm Ukraine with cutting-edge battle tanks to aid in the fight against Russian forces, accusing Washington of crossing a “red line” and waging a “proxy war” intended to topple Moscow.
Kim Yo Jong’s remarks on Friday highlighted North Korea’s growing allegiance to Russia about the conflict in Ukraine, as well as its confrontation of the US and its Asian allies over its own expanding nuclear weapons and missile program.
In a statement, Kim Yo Jong made her first public comments in months. “I express severe concern over the US aggravating the war scenario by providing Ukraine with military weaponry for ground offensive,” she added.
“The US is the arch criminal which poses serious threat and challenge to the strategic security of Russia and pushes the regional situation to the present grave phase,” said Kim, who is vice-department director of the Central Committee of the Workers Party of Korea.
“I do not doubt that any military hardware the US and the West boast of will be burnt into pieces in the face of the indomitable fighting spirit and might of the heroic Russian army and people,” she said, adding that North Korea will always “stand in the same trench” with Russia.
Kim’s comments, carried by the country’s official Korean Central News Agency, came after the US said it would send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, reversing months of indecision by Washington on the issue. The US announcement followed Germany’s decision to also provide Ukraine with 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks from its own stocks.
Kim said President Joe Biden’s administration was “further crossing the red line” by sending its main tanks to Ukraine and that the decision reflects a “sinister intention to realize its hegemonic aim by further expanding the proxy war for destroying Russia”.
North Korea has blamed the US for the crisis in Ukraine, insisting that the West’s “hegemonic policy” forced Russia to take military action to protect its security interests.
North Korea is also the only nation other than Russia and Syria to recognise the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk, two Russian-backed separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, and has also hinted at plans to send workers there to help with rebuilding efforts.
The US has accused North Korea of sending large supplies of artillery shells and other ammunition to Russia to support its offensive in Ukraine, although North Korea has repeatedly denied the claim.
Pyongyang has also accelerated its weapons development, test-firing more than 70 missiles in 2022 alone, including potentially nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles.