South Korea summons Russian ambassador to protest Moscow-Pyongyang pact

    WORLD  21 June 2024 - 18:50

    Seoul protested Russia's new defence pact with North Korea on June 21, amid rising border tensions, vague threats, and seemingly accidental incursions by North Korean troops.

    South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Hong Kyun called in Russian Ambassador Georgy Zinoviev to protest the recently announced deal between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un, Caliber.Az reports citing foreign media.

    They urged Moscow to immediately call off its alleged military cooperation with Pyongyang.

    Earlier on Friday, Kim Yo Jung – the powerful sister of the North Korean leader – issued a vague threat of retaliation against South Korea. 

    The threat came after South Korean activists flew balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border and the South Korean military said they had fired warning shots to repel North Korean soldiers the day before.  

    Two days before, Moscow and Pyongyang had reached a pact vowing mutual defence assistance in the event of an attack on either nation.

    In response, the South Korean government said it would consider providing weapons to Ukraine to fight Russia’s invasion.  

    As Russia and North Korea move closer, China appears to be keeping its distance. 

    Experts say Chinese leaders are likely concerned about the potential loss of influence over North Korea following the Russia/North Korea pact.  

    China has not yet commented on the deal and has only reiterated statements that it hopes to uphold peace and stability in the region. 

    Beijing’s response has been “very weak,” said Victor Cha, senior vice president for Asia and Korea chair at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, before adding that it might indicate their government is not yet sure what to do. 

    “Every option is a bad option,” he said.

    “You’re either unable to make a decision because of very strongly held competing views or you’re just incapable of making a decision because you just don’t know how to evaluate the situation.”  

    Caliber.Az

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