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North Korea Recognizes Donbas “Independence,” Ukraine (Doesn’t) Respond

North Korea's Kim Jong Un
Image: Creative Commons.

Isolationist communist dictatorship North Korea confirmed this week that it officially recognizes the independence of two separatist regions of Ukraine, the self-styled people’s republics of Luhansk and Donetsk.

While the move does little to help Russia succeed in its goal to “liberate” the two regions of Ukraine, it does indicate that North Korea is looking to win favor with the Russian Federation as it becomes increasingly isolated and dependent on the support of other authoritarian states.

The announcement, which came from the North Korean official news agency, makes North Korea the third country to recognize the independence of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) in the Donbas region of Ukraine.

Reports also revealed how the North Korean foreign minister sent letters to her counterparts in the two self-styled republics on Wednesday, confirming the support of the North Korean government.

The lack of support received by Russia and the two breakaways on the world stage meant that the announcement from North Korea was even welcomed on official social media channels.

Donetsk People’s Republic leader Denis Pushilin said on his Telegram account that he hopes to establish “fruitful cooperation” and trade with North Korea. The embassy of the Donetsk People’s Republic in Moscow also shared a photograph on Telegram of a ceremony in North Korea, during which the DPR envoy Olga Makeyeva received a certificate from Sin Hong-chol, the North Korean ambassador to Russia.

“Doesn’t Deserve A Response” on North Korea

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hesitantly responded to the revelation, arguing that the recognition of the eastern regions’ independence was not worthy of a response.

“I took part in the Asian Leadership Conference, which takes place every year in Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea. It’s one of those platforms that attracts the attention of the entire region. And it is important for Ukraine that our interests and values are heard and perceived in all parts of the world, especially in the leading countries of Asia. I thanked them for their support and called for more active opposition to Russia’s terror tactics,” Zelenskyy said this week.

The Ukrainian president said that it was a “cruel irony” that the representatives of DPR and LPR announced the newfound support from North Korea.

“Of course, we will respond very robustly at all levels,” he said. “But this is the sort of news that needs no further comment. Everything is obvious. Which path we are taking and what the occupiers might lead to.”

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

Written By

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Thinker_DPR

    July 20, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    It is very good that our liberated territories are being recognized as states by other countries (5 countries as of today: RF, SO, Abx, Syr, NK).

    Western regimes may be in denial of the world map or laws of physics or whatever else their regimes’ propaganda bangs on about. I think it really doesn’t matter at this stage to even bother about what the west thinks. Just ignore the wankers.

    But we care and appreciate every bit of support of all non-western nations and people, not just BRICS, but all good people of the planet.

    Thank you Russian Federation for all you are doing, saving us all. No jokes, just the truth, with tears in the eyes.

    • from Russia with love

      July 20, 2022 at 6:15 pm

      I’m curious what the West will do after the liberation of Ukraine? won’t recognize it either? will demand the return of the junta that seized power with the help of a coup?

      • TheDon

        July 22, 2022 at 4:32 am

        Reaching the bottom of the bucket for support.

        Liberation with further drop in demographics.
        Not a good long term strategy.

  2. James Kedze

    July 25, 2022 at 3:33 pm

    Thanks alot Ukraine for defending your nation against Russia oppression.

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