Cho, Blinken call N. Korea-Russia cooperation ‘serious threat’ to regional stability: State Dept.

WASHINGTON, The top diplomats of South Korea and the United States criticized growing military cooperation between North Korea and Russia as a "serious threat" to regional stability and stressed the allies' alignment against Russia's war in Ukraine during their talks, the State Department said Thursday. Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met at the State Department in Washington on Wednesday for their first bilateral in-person talks since Cho took office in January. "The secretary and foreign minister discussed their concerns about the DPRK's increasingly aggressive behavior, repeated violations of U.N. Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, including its transfer to Russia of ballistic missiles for use against the people of Ukraine, and increased domestic repression," Matthew Miller, the department's spokesperson, said in a readout. "They noted that unlawful DPRK military cooperation with Russia poses a serious threat to regional stability and global nonproliferation," he added. DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The White House has revealed that the North supplied Russia with munitions, ballistic missiles and other pieces of military equipment for use in Ukraine, despite such arms transactions with the North being banned under UNSC resolutions. At Wednesday's meeting, Cho and Blinken also discussed concerns about China's support to the Russian defense industrial base, according to Miller. "Both sides underscored continued alignment on countering Russia's aggression and providing further support to Ukraine," he said. In addition, the top diplomats underscored the "unwavering" strengthen of the two countries' alliance and reaffirmed the importance of the trilateral relationship with Japan, Miller said. Source: Yonhap News Agency