North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's influential sister has criticized the United States' plan to give Ukraine with sophisticated combat tanks to assist fight Russian soldiers, accusing Washington of crossing a "red line" and launching a "proxy war" meant to destroy Moscow.
Kim Yo Jong's statements on Friday highlighted North Korea's increasing alliance with Russia over the Ukraine conflict, while also confronting the US and its Asian allies over its own burgeoning nuclear weapons and missile development.
"I express grave worry about the United States intensifying the conflict by equipping Ukraine with military weaponry for a ground invasion," Kim Yo Jong said in a statement, her first public statements in months.
"The US is the arch criminal, posing a significant threat and challenge to Russia's strategic security and pushing the regional situation to the current grave stage," said Kim, vice-department head of the Workers Party of Korea's Central Committee.
"I have no doubt that whatever military hardware boasted of by the United States and the West would be burnt to ashes in the face of the indomitable fighting spirit and power of the great Russian army and people," she said, adding that North Korea will always "stand in the same trench" as Russia.
Kim's remarks, relayed by the country's official Korean Central News Agency, came after the US said it would supply 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, reversing months of Washington hesitation on the matter. The US statement came on the heels of Germany's decision to supply Ukraine with 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks from its own inventory.