North Korea recognizes the independence of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic, becoming the third nation to do so after Russia and Syria. Ukraine decides to suspend relations with North Korea in response.
Ukraine breaks diplomatic relations with North Korea after it recognizes independence of Kremlin-backed separatist regions. North Korea earlier recognized independence of Moscow-backed separatist regions in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine’s foreign ministry said the move by North Korea carries no legal weight. Russian state media TASS reported earlier on Wednesday that North Korea had recognized the independence of eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk People’s Republic, citing separatist leader Denis Pushilin. Ukraine’s foreign ministry called this move “an attempt by Pyongyang to undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” slamming it as “a gross violation of the Constitution of Ukraine, the UN Charter and the fundamental norms and principles of the international law.” The two republics were recognized as independent states by UN member Russia on 21 February 2022, followed by breakaway state Abkhazia four days later. The two republics were later recognized by 2 more UN members, Syria on 29 June 2022 and North Korea on 13 July 2022.