SEOUL: North Korea on Saturday (Oct 21) condemned the United States for supplying Ukraine with long-range ballistic missiles known as ATACMS, saying any strike on Russia with them will only hamper peace efforts.
On Tuesday, Ukraine said it used the US-supplied Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) for the first time, inflicting heavy damage on two airfields in Russian-occupied areas. Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and the Kyiv government has repeatedly asked Washington for the missiles, while promising not to use them inside Russia.
“The US finally delivered ATACMS ground-to-ground missile system to Ukraine despite the deep concern and strong opposition of the international community,” Sin Hong-Chol, North Korea’s ambassador to Russia, said in a statement carried by state media KCNA.
“Any strike at the interior of Russia, a nuclear power, will not be of help to the early end of the Ukrainian situation or its peaceful settlement as the US advocates but will serve as a catalyst for putting the whole Europe into the crucible of endless war and prolonging the war,” the statement said.
Several variants of ATACMS can carry cluster bomblets. The system provides “the ability to engage both point and area high value targets with precision fires out to 300km,” a US Army website says.
On Oct 13, the White House accused Pyongyang of providing Russia with a shipment of weapons recently, calling it a troubling development and raising concerns about the expanded military relationship between the two countries.