Ukraine strongly condemned North Korea’s recognition of two Russian-occupied breakaway “people’s republics” in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday. Russian-backed separatists have controlled parts of both the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in southeast Ukraine since 2014, and Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed their independence only shortly before the Russian Federation’s second invasion began in February of this year.

In a statement Wednesday, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine declared the severance of relations with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for “trying to undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.” Already Political and economic contacts with Pyongyang have ceased due to global sanctions.

“Russia’s appeal to the DPRK for support in legitimizing the forceful seizure of a part of the Ukrainian territory speaks more about Moscow’s toxicity than Pyongyang’s. Russia has no more allies in the world, except for countries that depend on it financially and politically, and the level of isolation of the Russian Federation will soon reach the level of isolation of the DPRK,” said Dmytro Kuleba, Minister for Foreign Affairs.

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On 12 June, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un expressed full support for the recognition of the two breakaway entities, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR).

The DPR’s proxy embassy in Moscow posted a photo on its Telegram channel of a ceremony in which North Korea’s ambassador to Moscow Sin Hong-chol handed a certificate of recognition to DPR envoy Olga Makeyeva.

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In a post on his Telegram channel, DPR leader Denis Pushilin said he hoped for “fruitful cooperation” and increased trade with North Korea, according to Malaymail.com.

Syria is the only other country that supports the Russian Federation’s claims to the occupied regions.

In a Wednesday evening address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky commented “I took part in the work of the ‘Asian Leadership’ conference, which takes place every year in Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea. This is one of those platforms that attracts the attention of the entire region. And it is important for Ukraine that our interests and values are heard and perceived in all parts of the world, especially in the leading countries of Asia. I thanked them for their support and called for more active opposition to Russian terror tactics.

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“And what a cruel irony: today the representatives of the occupation structures in Donetsk announced that they have been, as they put it, recognized by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Of course, we will respond very robustly at all levels. But this is the sort of news that needs no further comment. Everything is obvious. Which path we are taking and what the occupiers might lead to.”

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