Russia-N.Korea pact raises concerns for peace and stability: US official

A senior US official says he is not surprised that Russia and North Korea have signed a treaty that pledges mutual military assistance, but says it is a concern for any country that cares about maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the Indo-Pacific.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said on Thursday that the agreement should also be a concern for anybody who thinks that supporting the people of Ukraine is an important thing to do.

He noted that US President Joe Biden's administration has prioritized the Indo-Pacific region since its launch. Kirby stressed that this will continue to put the US government "in the best possible position to be able to afford any threats and challenges."

He added that the agreement signals Russia's desperation, as Moscow is reaching out to Pyongyang for missiles. He said, "Russia is absolutely isolated on the world stage," and Russians have been "forced to rely again on countries like North Korea and Iran."

South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul told reporters in New York on Thursday that any assistance or cooperation strengthening North Korea's military power violates UN Security Council resolutions.

Cho called for international unity in condemning and countering unlawful acts that could undermine global peace and security.

He said South Korea will take necessary measures depending on developments on Russia.