(FiveNation.com)- In the months following the intensification of Moscow’s eight-year assault on the nation in eastern Europe, the Donetsk and Luhansk “People’s Republics,” North Korea’s envoys have reportedly strengthened communication with them, according to the Pyongyang news outlet NK News.
Only Russia, its proxy government in Syria, and the separatist territory of Abkhazia in Georgia are officially recognized as countries by North Korea. Donetsk and Luhansk do not. On the international scene, Pyongyang, a totalitarian communist regime, does have support from Russia, which has even used its veto power at the UN General Assembly to save North Korea from more penalties.
Although the majority of public cooperation between the two states currently appears to be in the realm of diplomatic support, dictator Kim Jong-Un’s move to bring North Korea closer to Russia could potentially move the country slightly out of the orbit of its top ally, China, and help bolster both Kim’s economy and Vladimir Putin’s sluggish national market. Though they probably won’t entail a wave of other countries following suit, the repercussions of North Korea potentially becoming the third state on the earth to recognize Donetsk and Luhansk as countries remain unpredictable.
Donetsk and Luhansk make up Ukraine’s Donbas region, which borders Russia. In March 2014, Russia forcibly annexed the southern Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. At the same time, a lot of evidence points to the fact that Russia may have sent weapons and other assistance to ethnic Russian rebels in the Donbas, igniting a civil war there that started that year and escalated into a global conflict in February when Russian forces entered Ukraine formally.
Putin asserted that the idea of the country of Ukraine “was established by Russia” and that Ukraine lacked “solid traditions” of being a sovereign state while announcing the recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk as countries that month.
The representatives of both Donetsk and Luhansk met with Sin Hong Chol, North Korea’s ambassador to Russia, in Moscow in May, according to the Donetsk rebels.
Part of an official statement from the “Donetsk People’s Republic” said, “The meeting was devoted to consultations on forms and procedures for ongoing contact.” The debate on the actual state of events in Donbass and the significance of distributing accurate and unbiased information about the situation received special attention.
According to reports, the separatists appreciated Pyongyang’s representative’s intention to “develop and expand cooperation.” The declaration did not mention the possibility of North Korea recognizing either entity’s sovereignty.
State-run Rodong Sinmun, one of the few legally available media sources for North Korean people, has mostly refrained from telling the public about the current conflict in Ukraine. However, it has constantly released pieces extolling the purportedly unbreakable bond between Pyongyang and Moscow. Most recently, Rodong Sinmun reported last month that Kim Jong-un had sent Putin a special greeting in honor of Russia Day.