Russian Ambassador Claims North Korean Laborers Could be Used to Rebuild Donbas

Russian Ambassador in Pyongyang Alexander Matsegora said North Korea could send workers to help reconstruct the two Russian-controlled territories in eastern Ukraine (Donetsk and Luhansk), despite the United Nations sanctions that forbid the activities. 

“Highly qualified and hard-working Korean builders, who are capable of working in the most difficult conditions, could help us restore our social, infrastructure, and industrial facilities,” Matsegora said.  

Matsegora’s comments came days after North Korea became one of the few countries to recognize the two territories. 

“Ukraine has not the right to raise issue or dispute our legitimate exercise of sovereignty after committing an act that severely lacks fairness and justice between nations by actively joining the US unjust and illegal hostile policy in the past,” North’s foreign ministry said. 

In response, Ukraine cut off diplomatic ties with North Korea and accused it of undermining Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

Ukraine had already suspended its political and economic contact with North Korea as part of UN-led sanctions aimed at pressuring Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. 

Meanwhile, Go Myong-hyun, a research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul, said the economic cooperation would confirm that Russia had become a rogue state. 

“Once Russia violates the very sanctions it had authorized, the security council would be critically undermined,” Go said. 

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