South Korea Criticizes Russia for Disparaging Remarks on North Korea Policy

SEOUL — The South Korean government issued a strong rebuke on Saturday to Russia’s criticism of President Yoon Suk Yeol’s recent statements on North Korea, labeling the Russian comments as “rude” and “ignorant.” President Yoon had characterized North Korea as the only nation globally that has legalized the preemptive use of nuclear weapons, amid rising tensions following a series of North Korean weapons tests since the beginning of the year.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s critique of Yoon’s remarks as “blatantly biased” was dismissed as beneath diplomatic standards and ignorant of the “clear and objective reality” of North Korea’s militaristic threats and provocations, which escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula and in the wider region. The ministry further described Zakharova’s comments as “repulsive sophistry,” contrasting sharply with the expectations from a country that adheres to international norms.

This exchange of words comes at a time of increasing cooperation between Pyongyang and Moscow, with accusations from Washington and its allies of North Korea supplying weapons to Russia for its conflict in Ukraine. Concurrently, North Korea has intensified its threatening posture towards Seoul through continued weapons testing, including recent launches described as a “cruise missile super-large warhead” and a “new-type anti-aircraft missile.”

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