On Saturday, South Korea criticized Russia for condemning President Yoon Suk Yeol’s characterization of North Korea as “biased,” denouncing the comments as “rude” and “ignorant.”
Yoon had labeled North Korea as the only nation worldwide to authorize the preemptive use of nuclear weapons amidst escalating tensions fueled by North Korea’s series of weapons tests since the beginning of the year.
Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova had, the next day, censured Yoon’s statements as “blatantly biased” in a released commentary.
In response, Seoul’s foreign ministry conveyed its disapproval, stating in a text message to reporters on Saturday that the Russian spokesperson’s remarks were “below standards, rude, ignorant, and biased.” The ministry emphasized that these comments overlooked the evident and objective reality of North Korea’s threatening rhetoric and continual military provocations, contributing to heightened tensions in the Korean Peninsula and the region.
Seoul’s foreign ministry referred to the Russian official’s comments as “repulsive sophistry” when measured against the standards of a nation adhering to international norms. Simultaneously, it criticized Russia’s portrayal of the Ukraine invasion as a “special military operation,” dismissing it as a “far-fetched” attempt to mislead the international community.
This rebuke emerged amidst the deepening ties between Pyongyang and Moscow, with accusations from Washington and its allies alleging North Korea’s involvement in supplying weapons to Russia for its conflict against Ukraine.
In recent weeks, North Korea has intensified tensions with Seoul through aggressive rhetoric and persistent weapons tests, including the announcement of a “cruise missile super-large warhead” and a “new-type anti-aircraft missile” on Friday. In September of the previous year, North Korea solidified its constitution to include an assertive nuclear policy that embraces preemptive strike options.