Ukraine's Crimea marked as a Russian territory on a map in the North Korean political Atlas of the World. Scan: FB RusEmbDPRK
The Russian Embassy in the North Korea in their 12 October post on Facebook proudly reports that Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia in March 2014, has “already been painted in Russian colors” on maps in a new political atlas of the world released in the DPRK by the publishing house “Scientific Encyclopedia.”
Russian diplomats pretend being surprised at this and tell that they have requested clarification from the North Korean Foreign Ministry on this issue:
“As we were explained in the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Republic respects the outcome of the referendum held in Crimea on the entry of the peninsula into the Russian Federation, considers its results to be legitimate and fully compliant with international legal norms,” the post reads.
Nearly all major Russian media outlets considered the statement of the Russian Embassy newsworthy and reported that “Pyongyang has agreed to recognize Russian sovereignty over Crimea.”
Meanwhile, North Korea, as a Russian ally has been declaring its support for the Russian annexation of Crimea since 2014.
- On 24 March 2014, following the Russian-backed secessionist referendum in Crimea and its rapid annexation by Russia, the UN General Assembly adopted a non-binding resolution considering the March 16 referendum as invalid and reaffirming Ukraine’s territorial integrity. One hundred nations favored the resolution while just 11 countries voted against, with 58 abstentions and 24 absent. The DPRK was among the states that voted against the territorial integrity of Ukraine. The ther 10 were Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Nicaragua, Syria, and Sudan.
- Later, in the December of 2014, the director of the press department of North Korean Foreign Ministry, Jeong Dong-hak told in an interview with Russian state-owned information agency TASS that Pyongyang considers Russia’s absorption of Crimea “fully justified.” The spokesman wished Russians to “protect worthily their interests over current events in Ukraine” amid a tough anti-Russian campaign “launched by the United States and Western countries.” Jong also added that traditional relations of friendship and cooperation with Russia “remain an ever-lasting stance of the DPRK government.”
No South Korea on the map
The Russian embassy in the DPRK has illustrated their triumphal statement with scanned pages from the Pyongyang-issued atlas. Two of four maps published by the Russian diplomats depict South Korea as a North-Korean territory:
A question arises if Russia endorses the North-Korean maps with Crimea depicted as a Russian territory, does Russia support DPRK sovereignty over South Korea too?
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