US intervention in Ukraine could kick off a wider conflict across Europe, Pyongyang has warned
North Korea has condemned the US and other Western powers for providing main battle tanks to Ukrainian forces, saying Washington's "proxy war" against Russia poses a dire threat to world peace.
In comments carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Friday, senior Workers' Party official Kim Yo-jong - the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un - said US involvement in Ukraine has "exposed the entire continent of Europe to the grave danger of war."
Washington and its allies "are destroying world peace and regional security by handing over an astronomical amount of military equipment to Ukraine, completely ignoring Russia's safety concerns," she said, adding that the decision to supply tanks poses "a major threat and challenge to the strategic security of Russia."
After repeatedly declining Kiev's requests for heavy armor, US officials finally gave in earlier this week and agreed to send 31 M1 Abrams battle tanks. Though the weapons aren't set to reach the battlefield until August at the earliest, several allies, including Germany and Poland, have also pledged to send their own Leopard 2 tanks in the coming weeks and months. Berlin was initially reluctant to authorize shipments of the German-made vehicle, but ultimately accepted the move under pressure from fellow NATO members, allowing allies to export the Leopard to Ukraine.
Kim went on to express "serious concern" over the potential for escalation in Ukraine, accusing the US of "further expanding the proxy war to destroy Russia." However, she said "no matter how desperate the allied imperialist forces are," all Western weapons supplied to Kiev would "burn up and become a pile of iron."
Moscow has offered similar warnings about foreign intervention in Ukraine, arguing that non-stop arms shipments only serve to prolong the conflict and risk direct confrontation with the NATO alliance. Officials insist that no amount of military aid will prevent Russia from reaching its objectives, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declaring Western tanks will "burn" on the Ukrainian battlefield.