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Russian Embassy voices 'deep regret' over Yoon's warning on growing Pyongyang-Moscow ties

Sept. 21, 2023 - 21:00 By Yonhap
President Republic of Korea Yoon Suk Yeol speaks at the UN General Assembly 78th session General Debate in UN General Assembly Hall at the United Nations Headquarters on Wednesday in New York City. (UPI-Yonhap)

The Russian Embassy in Seoul on Thursday expressed "deep regret" over President Yoon Suk Yeol's speech condemning military cooperation between Pyongyang and Moscow at the United Nations and accused him of joining Washington's "propaganda campaign."

During his keynote address to the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday (U.S. time), Yoon warned that any arms deal between the two countries would be considered a "direct provocation" against South Korea, relaying concerns North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin could have agreed on a weapons deal at their rare summit last week.

In a Facebook message in English, the embassy expressed "deep regret" that Yoon "joined the propaganda campaign initiated by Washington and picked up by the American and South Korean media aimed at discrediting Russian-North Korean cooperation."

"We regard such speculative and baseless statements made in the 'best' traditions of 'megaphone' diplomacy and the methods of the notorious false 'vial' of the former U.S. Secretary of State C. Powell as provocative and confrontational, in line with the aggressive hybrid war unleashed against our country by the collective West led by the United States," it said.

The embassy stressed that Russia "invariably complies with all of its international obligations," including those related to the development of ties with its "good neighbor and long-time partner," North Korea.

The embassy also urged South Korea to "base their actions on a sober and objective assessment" of the current situation and to consider the negative consequences of Seoul's "continued pursuit of the anti-Russian line" on their bilateral ties and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

In related news, Andrei Rudenko, the Russian deputy minister of foreign affairs in charge of Asia-Pacific affairs, is expected to visit Seoul later this month, diplomatic sources said.

Before the Kim-Putin talks, the two countries had been in talks to arrange his visit, which is expected to take place as early as the end of this month, they said.

Rudenko, who serves as Russia's chief representative on North Korea's nuclear program, may brief Seoul officials on details of their summit, they added. (Yonhap)