N. Korea slams US move to supply Ukraine with cluster munitions

AFP , Tuesday 11 Jul 2023

North Korea on Tuesday slammed the United States' decision to supply Ukraine with cluster munitions, while also expressing support for Russia's war effort.

Rocket appear to contained cluster bombs
File Photo: A man walks past an unexploded tail section of a 300mm rocket which appear to contained cluster bombs launched from a BM-30 Smerch multiple rocket launcher embedded in the ground after shelling in Lysychansk, Lugansk region on April 11, 2022. AFP


Washington announced last week that it would provide the widely banned munitions to Ukraine for their counteroffensive against invading Russian troops.

"The US has made a very dangerous choice by deciding to offer such lethal weapons to Ukraine," said North Korean foreign minister Choe Son Hui in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

The move "brings to light once again its true colors as destroyer of peace regarding aggression and massacre as its national policy and mode of existence", she said.

Choe went on to demand Washington halt its plans.

But she made no mention of Russia' alleged deployment of cluster munitions in Ukraine.

When they detonate, cluster bombs spread dozens of tiny bomblets over an area the size of several football pitches.

North Korea itself currently produces cluster munitions, along with countries including China, Russia, South Korea and the United States, according to the Cluster Munition Monitor report published in 2022.

It has also not yet signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which prohibits the use and stockpiling of the weapons.

Adding that the North Korean government and its people "extend firm support and solidarity" to Russia, Choe said Moscow would achieve victory in the end.

It was the latest message of support from Pyongyang to Moscow since the beginning of the fighting in Ukraine, which it has described as a US proxy war to destroy Russia.

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Russia has long held the line against increasing pressure on North Korea, which is under wide-ranging UN and Western sanctions over its nuclear weapons and missile programmes.

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