TOKYO, January 23. /TASS/. Japan is monitoring with growing concern the development of relations between Moscow and Pyongyang, as Tokyo believes that Russia could provide military assistance to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa said in a statement at a regular press conference.
"We are concerned that Russia will probably provide military assistance to North Korea," she said. Kamikawa also reiterated that the DPRK had allegedly transferred various weapons to Russia. The Japanese foreign minister restated that any arms trade with the DPRK was a violation of UN Security Council resolutions, calling on the international community to fully comply with them.
Tokyo’s top diplomat refrained from commenting on the prospects of a visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the DPRK. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi previously stressed that it was not a good time for the Japanese government to comment on the issue. At the same time, both Kamikawa and Hayashi noted that the Japanese side was closely monitoring the development of Russian-North Korean relations.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has repeatedly stressed that accusations by Western countries of illegal military-technical cooperation between Russia and the DPRK are unfounded and unsubstantiated. Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov denied Washington's rumors that Pyongyang was providing military assistance to Moscow.