Kim Jong-un's sister blasted the United States for supplying Ukraine with advanced battle tanks and claimed it was escalating a "proxy war" aimed at destroying Russia.
North Korea has a deepening alignment with Russia over the war in Ukraine as it confronts the United States and its Asian allies over its own growing nuclear weapons and missiles programme.
It has has blamed the United States for the crisis in Ukraine, insisting that the West’s “hegemonic policy” forced Russia to take military action to protect its security interests.
Kim Yo Jong said the Biden administration was “further crossing the red line” by sending its main tanks to Ukraine and that the decision reflects a “sinister intention to realize its hegemonic aim by further expanding the proxy war for destroying Russia.”
She stated: “The US is the arch criminal which poses serious threat and challenge to the strategic security of Russia and pushes the regional situation to the present grave phase."
The North Korean leader's sister continued: “I do not doubt that any military hardware the US and the West boast of will be burnt into pieces in the face of the indomitable fighting spirit and might of the heroic Russian army and people."
She also made it clear that North Korea will always “stand in the same trench” with Russia.
At the same time as the war in Ukraine has raged, North Korea appears to have used the distraction to accelerate its own weapons development, test-firing more than 70 missiles in 2022 alone, including potentially nuclear-capable weapons believed able to target South Korea and the US mainland.
The United States has accused North Korea of sending large supplies of artillery shells and other ammunition to Russia to support its offensive in Ukraine, although the North has repeatedly denied the claim.
Kim Yo Jong’s comments, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, came after US President Joe Biden on Wednesday said the United States will send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, reversing months of arguments by Washington that they were too difficult for Ukrainian troops to operate and maintain.
The US decision followed Germany’s agreement to send 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks from its own stocks.
North Korea is the only nation other than Russia and Syria to recognise the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk, two Russian-backed separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, and has also hinted at plans to send workers there to help with rebuilding efforts.