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North Korea lambasts attempts to topple legitimate Venezuelan president

North Korea believes that the Venezuelan crisis "should be resolved in a peaceful way"

PYONGYANG, February 3. /TASS/. A spokesperson for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry has condemned the attempts to oust legitimate Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, calling for resolving the conflict by peaceful means, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported, citing the statement.

"Any attempt by outside forces to remove a president legitimately elected according to the constitution of a sovereign state is an undisguised interference in internal affairs," the statement said, noting that this is a blatant violation of international law.

North Korea believes that the Venezuelan crisis "should be resolved in a peaceful way in accordance with the independent will and decision of the government and people of Venezuela." "Peoples of the whole world aspiring to justice and peace will ever stand by the government and people of Venezuela for safeguarding their sovereignty and stability."

Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker, whose appointment to that position had been cancelled by the country’s Supreme Court, declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas on January 23. Several countries, including the United States, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), Australia, Albania, Georgia and Israel, as well as the Organization of American States, recognized him as president. President Nicolas Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US. On January 29, Washington imposed sanctions against Venezuela’s oil producer PDVSA and handed control to Guaido over a part of Venezuela’s assets in US banks.

Meanwhile, Spain, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands said that they would recognize Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president unless Maduro called elections by February 3.

In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey voiced support for Maduro, while China called for resolving all differences peacefully and warned against foreign interference. The United Nations secretary general, in turn, called for dialogue to resolve the crisis.