North Korea, Russia condemn Blinken's comments about military ties

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin met Thursday to discuss shared issues including nuclear threats from North Korea and the growing relationship between Pyongyang and Moscow. Photo by Yonhap/EPA-EFE

Nov. 11 (UPI) -- North Korea and Russia on Saturday chastised U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken for comments about an alleged military cooperation between Pyongyang and Moscow to support their strategic goals.

Blinken on Thursday said there's a "growing and dangerous" relationship between the two countries, with North Korea providing Russia with military equipment and Russia supporting North Korea's military programs.

North Korea's and Russia's foreign ministries individually put out statements on Saturday saying Blinken's comments about a military partnership between the two countries were baseless.

For its part, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said "accusations of an 'illegal' military-technical cooperation between Russia and North Korea, being made by the collective West, are groundless and unsubstantiated."

Pyongyang, meanwhile, said Blinken's comments were "irresponsible and provocative."

"No matter what others may say, the friendly and cooperative relations between the DPRK and Russia aspiring after independence, peace and friendship will invariably grow in strength, and any attempt of the U.S. and its vassal forces to wreck peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and the region will be faced with strong and coordinated counteraction of independent sovereign states," North Korea said.

In his meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin in Seoul, Blinken said the relationship between North Korea and Russia was of "profound concern."

"We're seeing a two-way street," the top U.S. diplomat said. "We're seeing the DPRK provide military equipment to Russia for pursuing aggression against Ukraine. But we're also seeing Russia provide technology and support to the DPRK for its own military programs."