August 25, 2017


Re “Tracing Success of North Korea to Ukraine Plant” (front page, August 14): I was alarmed by suggestions in your article that Ukraine may have supplied rocket technology to North Korea. The article suggests that North Korea has been using an engine called the RD-250, then confirmed that the RD-250 was developed in Russia, and then made the leap that the technology leakage came from Ukraine. But no evidence has been provided to support the claims.

As Ukraine’s foreign minister and a trained aerophysicist, I want to say that my country could not have been involved in aiding North Korea’s missile program.

The production lines for building these types of rockets in Ukraine were decommissioned in 1992. The expertise cannot be carried in the heads of rogue scientists. The instructions are included in complex manuals locked in top-security facilities guarded by our security forces. Not only would it be virtually impossible for criminals to access these manuals, but also any effort could not go unnoticed by our government.

But I am doubtful that North Korea could achieve what it has done without outside help. The global community must now come together to conduct an international inquiry to find out who was responsible.

– Pavlo Klimkin, foreign affairs minister of Ukraine, in a letter to the editor of The New York Times published on August 22.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses its categorical protest and outrage over yet another wave of political repressions and human rights violations by the Kremlin regarding the citizens of Ukraine.

The Russian occupation authorities continue the discrimination on national and religious grounds in the occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, persecuting ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars.

At least five politically motivated sentences of imprisonment were announced, seven people were arrested or fined in Crimea over the past month. Also, at least three searches in the houses of the Crimean Tatars were conducted over the past week.

The cynical mass searches, a time-tested NKVD practice, as well as a series of arrests… are evidence of the continuation of the Kremlin regime’s bold attack against everyone who disagrees with the occupation.

Despite numerous appeals by Ukraine and the international community demanding the immediate release of all illegally detained and sentenced Ukrainians, the Russian leadership continues a shameful practice of using Ukrainian citizens as the hostages of its aggressive policy against our state, making false accusations.

We express grave concern regarding the deteriorated health of the Ukrainian citizen Ruslan Zeitullayev, illegally sentenced on the territory of Russia, who on July 27, 2017, began another hunger strike to protest against Russian legal arbitrariness due to his unjustified sentencing to 15 years of deprivation of liberty. We demand that Russian side immediately allow Ruslan Zeitullayev to be examined by Ukrainian doctors.

Ukraine is demanding that the Russian Federation release all illegally detained citizens of Ukraine immediately and without any further preconditions, and cease the practice of political persecutions and repressions against our compatriots.

– Statement by Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued on August 17.