SEOUL, Feb. 26 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Saturday ascribed the armed conflict in Ukraine to the United States' "high-handedness and arbitrariness," accusing Washington of having pursued "military supremacy" in disregard of Russia's security concerns.
In a post on the North's foreign ministry website, Ri Ji-song, a researcher at the Society for International Politics Study, made the remarks -- the North's first public mention of the conflict following Russia's invasion of Ukraine earlier this week.
"The root cause of the Ukrainian crisis also lies in the high-handedness and arbitrariness of the U.S. which has held on solely to the unilateral sanction and pressure while pursuing only global hegemony and military supremacy in disregard of the legitimate demand of Russia for its security," Ri wrote.
Ri also cited what he claims to be comments by global media and experts that the contributing factor to the Ukrainian crisis is the "imbalance of power in Europe due to the unilateral expansion of NATO and its threat as well as the grave threat to the national security of Russia."
The researcher reiterated Pyongyang's accusations of Washington employing "double standards."
"The U.S embellishes its own interference in internal affairs of others as 'righteous' for peace and stability of the world, but it denounces for no good reason self-defensive measures taken by other countries to ensure their own national security as 'injustice' and 'provocation,'" he said.
He added, "Gone are the days when the U.S. used to reign supreme."
North Korea watchers have been waiting to see how Pyongyang would react to Moscow's invasion, which some observers see as a case of "meddling in internal affairs" or an erosion of the "noninterference" principle that the North itself has advocated.