US closely monitoring deepening ties between Russia, North Korea: Pentagon

The US is very closely monitoring the developing relationship between Russia and North Korea, the Pentagon said Thursday.

"There is no surprise here that they've been developing and fostering this relationship. So it is something that we're going to take seriously, and it's something that we're going to continue to monitor," spokesman Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters.

The US's focus when it comes to the Indo-Pacific region is to work with like-minded nations on security and stability throughout the world, to include the Indo-Pacific region, Ryder said.

Turning to the recent deal between Russia and North Korea in which they vowed to provide each other military assistance "without delay" if either is attacked by a third country, the spokesman said he is not going to discuss "in detail" any agreements between Moscow and Pyongyang.

"What you have seen in the past is the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) providing Russia with munitions that are being employed in Ukraine, killing Ukrainians and supporting Russia's illegal war.

"So again, it’s definitely concerning for all those nations that respect sovereignty, respect the rule of law," he added.

Stressing that Russia needs to align itself with North Korea to "subjugate" the people of Ukraine, Ryder said: "And the fact that they have to go to a country like the DPRK to obtain munitions demonstrates how isolated Russia is right now."

Asked whether the US takes Russian President Vladimir Putin's consideration of changing Russia's nuclear doctrine "seriously," Ryder said: "We've seen nothing at this point that would require us to change our own strategic forces' posture."

"Again, it's not the first time that we've heard of reckless nuclear saber rattling. It's certainly irresponsible for countries that maintain these types of capabilities to make those kinds of comments," he added.

During his visit to Vietnam, Putin said that Russian authorities are thinking about changes to the nuclear doctrine because "opponents" lowered the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons.

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