ANKARA (AA) – North Korea on Tuesday put its weight behind Russia, supporting the decision of four Ukrainian regions to join Russia.
In a statement, the North Korean Foreign Ministry said they respect the will of the people who want to join Russia.
"The referendums were held in keeping with the UN Charter laying down the principles of the equality of peoples and their right to self-determination and according to legitimate methods and procedures so that the will of the residents of the two republics and the two regions could be fully reflected," said Jo Chol Su, director general of the Department of International Organization at the Foreign Ministry.
"An overwhelming majority of the voters supported the integration into Russia," Jo said in a statement, published by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.
On Sept. 23-27, the Ukrainian separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk and Russian-controlled parts of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson held referendums on joining Russia.
The referendums have been condemned by the international community, with European nations and the US calling them a "sham" and saying that they will not be recognized.
Russia's lower chamber of parliament, the State Duma, on Monday ratified agreements on the regions joining Russian territory.
The Russian lawmakers held individual votes on incorporating the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia regions into Russia.
The North Korean official also criticized the US resolution in the UN Security Council, which was vetoed by Russia, and said Washington "interferes in the internal affairs of independent countries and infringes upon their legal rights by abusing the UNSC."
"This is the same old trick of the US, and the world has witnessed lots of similar illegal acts of the US in not only the 20th century but also the 21st century," Jo said.
"The US unleashed wars of aggression against sovereign states including former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq, but the US has not been called into question by the UNSC," the official added.
Pyongyang has close ties with Moscow and Beijing. In May, the two countries vetoed a US-backed resolution against North Korea in the UNSC to impose more sanctions after it launched its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile.
"If the UNSC is going to violate the independent rights and fundamental interests of a sovereign state with the illogical and gangster-like double standards running counter to the aim and principle of the UN Charter, it will be held totally responsible for the consequences to be entailed by it," Jo concluded.
*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid