Ukraine cuts ties with North Korea after recognizing separatist regions


Ukraine said it is cutting diplomatic ties with North Korea over recognizing separatist regions.


Ukraine said on Wednesday it was cutting relations with North Korea, hours after pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country said their self-proclaimed republics had been recognized by Pyongyang.

North Korea’s recognition of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic came after another Russian ally, Syria, took the same step last month.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry in a statement denounced North Korea’s decision to recognize areas Kiev describes as “temporarily occupied by Russia”.

“In response to this… Ukraine announces that it is cutting diplomatic ties with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” the statement said.

“Russia has no allies in the world, except for countries that depend on them financially and politically,” said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

Kuleba said Russia had called on North Korea to recognize the area in a move that “talks more about Moscow’s toxicity than Pyongyang’s”.

Russia recognized the self-proclaimed republics shortly before launching its invasion of pro-European neighbor Ukraine on February 24.

Earlier Wednesday, the separatist representation in Moscow published a photo on Telegram showing her envoy Olga Makeyeva receiving what she says is a letter of acknowledgment from North Korean ambassador Sin Hong-chol.

There has been no immediate response from North Korea.

Donetsk and neighboring Lugansk are located in the Donbas coalfield in eastern Ukraine.

The region has been partially controlled by pro-Russian forces since 2014, a move that followed Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula.

The 2022 offensive has been defended in part by Russia as the need to protect the two separatist entities.

Donetsk separatists inaugurated their “embassy” in Moscow on Tuesday, saying they were then in talks with North Korea about possible recognition.

Separatist officials have long said they want their regions to eventually join Russia.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)

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