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SEOUL – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has accused Ukraine of demanding nuclear weapons, state media KCNA reported on Saturday.

Kim’s claims are based on Ukraine’s online petition, which has gathered about 600 signatures so far.

She said petitions of this kind could be a political conspiracy by the office of President Volodymyr Zelensky, but did not provide evidence for that claim.

Following the announcement by Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, Moscow plans to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. A petition was filed on Thursday on the website of the Ukrainian president’s office, demanding that Ukraine keep nuclear weapons on its territory or arm them with their own.

By Saturday afternoon, the petition had only 611 signatures, well below the 25,000 required for a response from Zelensky.

Kiev officials have so far not commented on the petition.

North Korea has forged closer ties with the Kremlin amid the isolation it shares with the West, and has backed Russia’s position after it invaded Ukraine in 2022.

North Korea denies supplying weapons to Moscow.Reuters North Korea accuses Ukraine of having nuclear ambitions

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