North Korea: US to blame for Ukraine crisis
In Pyongyang's first response to Moscow's special military operation, it called the US the "root cause".
In Pyongyang's first formal statement after Moscow's special military operation in Ukraine, North Korea backed Russia and accused the US of being the "root cause" of the crisis.
Russia had for months been warning of the threat posed against it by NATO's attempts to expand eastward, which happened simultaneously with an increase in NATO military activity along Russia's borders, and batches of lethal weapons being sent to Ukraine, prompting Russia to request security guarantees from the West. Washington failed to provide the guarantees.
After the West did not respond to Russia's demands, and amid Ukrainian shelling on the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, President Vladimir Putin initiated a special military operation in Donbass.
The European Union had agreed Friday to freeze European assets linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov over Moscow's operation in Donbass.
The European decision was accompanied by a wave of sanctions from the US, Europe, and other Western allies.
North Korea, on the other hand, released a restrained response in the form of a statement posted on the Foreign Ministry's website in which it defended Russia and blamed the US.
The post detailed how "the root cause of the Ukrainian crisis also lies in the high-handedness and arbitrariness of the US," adding that the days when the US used to reign supreme are over.
Ri Ji Song, a researcher at the North's Society for International Politics Study, said the US has sought "military supremacy in disregard of the legitimate demand of Russia for its security."
Song accused the US of having double standards and meddling in other nations in the name of "peace and stability," but decries other nations' needs to ensure their own national security.
Russia is one of North Korea's international friends, along with Beijing, and has previously called for lifting sanctions against it.
China as well has blamed the US for "hyping up" the Ukraine crisis, while South Korea, an American ally, has said it will join the sanctions campaign against Russia.