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Ukraine severs diplomatic ties with North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un / AP-Yonhap
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un / AP-Yonhap

Ukraine has severed diplomatic ties with North Korea for recognizing the independence of Ukrainian territories seized by Russia, the country's foreign ministry said Wednesday.

In a statement posted on its Web site, the Ukrainian foreign ministry said it strongly condemns North Korea's decision to recognize the "so-called "independence" of the territories temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation in the Donetsk and Luhanks regions of Ukraine."

"We consider this decision as an attempt by Pyongyang to undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, a gross violation of the Constitution of Ukraine, the U.N. Charter and the fundamental norms and principles of the international law," it said.

Ukraine's move comes after the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), a quasi-state formed in April 2014 by pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk region, said it was in discussion with North Korea about Pyongyang's recognition of its independence.

Earlier report said the North Korean embassy in Moscow has confirmed the North's recognition of the independence of both the DPR and Luhansk People's Republic, becoming the third country in the world to do so after Russia and Syria.

"In response to such an unfriendly act, Ukraine announces the severance of diplomatic relations with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," the Ukrainian foreign ministry said, referring to North Korea by its official name.

It added the country's political and economic contacts with North Korea had already been suspended due to the international sanctions imposed on Pyongyang. (Yonhap)



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