Yoon says N. Korea-Russia military cooperation ‘illegal, unjust’

Sep 18, 2023, 10:57 am

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South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol delivers a keynote speech at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 20, 2022, at U.N. headquarters. / Source: Yonhap News

AsiaToday reporter Hong Sun-mi

President Yoon Suk-yeol on Sunday criticized military cooperation between North Korea and Russia, calling it “illegal and unjust” as it contravenes U.N Security Council resolutions and various other international sanctions.

Yoon made the remark in a written interview with the Associated Press (AP) a day before attending the U.N. General Assembly in New York. “South Korea and the United States reaffirmed that any nuclear attack by North Korea will be met with a swift, overwhelming and decisive response that will bring about the end of the regime,” he was quoted as saying. 

Yoon is expected to issue such a warning message to military cooperation between North Korea and Russia in his upcoming keynote speech at the U.N. General Assembly. 

Yoon said the U.S. extended deterrence “will develop into a joint system in which both countries discuss, decide and act together.” He said that both countries will also “enhance the ability to deter and respond to any nuclear or missile threat from North Korea.”

Yoon rejected the notion that closer cooperation between Seoul, Washington and Tokyo is intended to isolate China, saying the trilateral cooperation “harbors no intention of marginalizing any particular nation or establishing an exclusive coalition.”

Referring to last November’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and the recent meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang, Yoon said, “I found out that China places meaning on the importance of Seoul-Beijing relations.”

“Both Chinese Premier Li Qiang and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida had expressed their support for resuming a trilateral Seoul-Beijing-Tokyo summit,” he said. 

Regarding his U.N. speech, Yoon said that he will also raise the issue of gaps in three areas – development, climate responses and digital transformation – and present how South Korea will contribute to resolving them.

“As a non-permanent member of the Security Council for the 2024-25 term, I will also mention that South Korea will play a responsible role on security issues that require international solidarity like the war in Ukraine and the North Korean nuclear program,’ he said. 

#Yoon Suk-yeol #AP interview #North Korea #Russia #military cooperation 
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