South Korea Protests Russia-North Korea Defense Pact Amid Escalating Border Tensions

South Korea summoned the Russian ambassador to protest a newly established defense pact between Russia and North Korea, further escalating the already heightened border tensions.

This development follows a vague threat from Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in reaction to South Korean activists sending anti-Pyongyang propaganda via balloons. Additionally, South Korea’s military had fired warning shots to repel North Korean soldiers who crossed the border for the third time this month.

The Russian-North Korean defense pact was signed two days prior, leading to South Korea’s consideration of supplying arms to Ukraine in response. South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Hong Kyun expressed that any cooperation bolstering North Korea’s military violated U.N. Security Council resolutions and jeopardized South Korea’s security.

Russian Ambassador Georgy Zinoviev stated that any threats against Russia were unacceptable, asserting that the agreement wasn’t targeting any third country.

South Korea Protests Russia-North Korea Defense Pact Amid Escalating Border Tensions
South Korea Protests Russia-North Korea Defense Pact Amid Escalating Border Tensions

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized that all nations must comply with sanctions against North Korea, prohibiting material support for nuclear or missile programs.

Meanwhile, South Korean activists, led by defector Park Sang-hak, have intensified leaflet campaigns, prompting North Korea to threaten retaliation, fearing the propaganda could undermine Kim Jong Un’s regime.

Kim Yo Jong denounced the activists and issued a warning without detailing North Korea’s response. Past leafletting campaigns have led North Korea to retaliate with balloon-dropped trash, causing property damage in South Korea.

The South responded by resuming propaganda broadcasts via loudspeakers at the border, with North Korea warning of escalating tensions.

The situation reflects the broader geopolitical struggle, with Kim Jong Un strengthening ties with Russia against the U.S.-led West. South Korea, allied with the U.S., has provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine but hesitated to supply arms due to policy constraints.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned South Korea against arming Ukraine, claiming it would be a significant mistake and downplaying the defense pact’s threat unless South Korea acts aggressively toward Pyongyang.

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry, in coordination with the U.S. and Japan, views the Russia-North Korea pact as a serious regional threat. Historical sensitivities to propaganda broadcasts and the latest border incursions by North Korean soldiers highlight the ongoing volatility.

South Korean military’s recent observations suggest North Korea is fortifying its border to prevent defections, reflecting the internal pressures and external posturing in the Korean Peninsula.

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