N Korea calls for condemnation of US over Israel conflict

Pyongyang’s appeal coincides with Moscow reaching out to form a ‘united front’ against Washington.
By Lee Jeong-Ho for RFA
2023.10.22
Seoul, South Korea
N Korea calls for condemnation of US over Israel conflict North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Pyongyang, North Korea, October 19, 2023.
Russian Foreign Ministry/Handout via Reuters

North Korea blamed the Israel-Palestine conflict on the United States, increasing its efforts to solidify an anti-American “united front.”

The Middle East conflict was a “tragedy created entirely by the United States,” North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said Monday, adding that the U.S. has only sided with Israel in the conflict.

“The U.S. has turned a blind eye to Israel, its illegal occupation of Palestinian territories, continuous armed assaults, civilian casualties, and the expansion of Jewish settlements,” the state media said.

KCNA, however, did not mention the Hamas attack that triggered the conflict, nor Washington’s mediation efforts to deter Israel from deploying ground forces in Gaza.

U.S. President Joe Biden visited Israel, shortly after the conflict began last week. It was unusual for the U.S. President to openly visit a country at war, as such visits were often kept secret until arrival due to security concerns.

But this time the Biden administration publicly disclosed the detailed itinerary in advance, and the visit was televised – a rare approach widely perceived as Washington’s attempt to deter Israel from deploying ground troops into Gaza.

Overlooking the Biden administration’s initiatives, North Korea Monday urged international condemnation against the U.S.

“Global sentiment suggests that the planet’s stability and security are jeopardized by the U.S.’s self-righteous and dual-standard foreign policy,” KCNA said. “The international community must closely watch the U.S.’s madness and resolutely denounce and oppose such hazardous and misguided endeavors.”

Pyongyang’s appeal to the international community coincides with Moscow reaching out to form an “united front” against Washington. North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin met at the symbol of Russian space prowess in Russia’s Far East last month, where they vowed to form an “anti-imperialist united front.” 

Separately, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Pyongyang last week that Moscow was seeking stronger cooperation with North Korea and China to counter the U.S. and its regional allies, as reported by Russian news organization Tass.

Tighter cooperation among the authoritarian regimes may amplify their leverage against the U.S. and its regional partners. The move is widely seen as aimed at enhancing their collective bargaining power and operational capabilities against the West. 

North Korea’s effort to use the Israel-Palestine conflict to form a united front against the U.S. underscores its ambition to bring together the nations that are wary of U.S. influence, presenting the Biden administration with a complex geopolitical challenge.

The Middle East conflict, coupled with the ongoing Ukraine War and the strengthening ties between Russia and North Korea, poses a multifaceted challenge for Washington, complicating the U.S. strategy of reallocating resources to Asia in response to China’s rising influence.

Edited by Taejun Kang and Mike Firn.

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