North Korea's Foreign Ministry on Saturday night blamed the United States and defended Russia in Pyongyang's first response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, by way of posting on its website an article by a North Korean researcher.

In the article, Ri Ji Song of the Society for International Politics Study wrote, "The root cause of the Ukrainian crisis also lies in the high-handedness and arbitrariness of the U.S., which has held on solely to the unilateral sanction and pressure while pursuing only global hegemony and military supremacy in disregard of the legitimate demand of Russia for its security."

The article accused the United States of embellishing its own interference in internal affairs of others as "righteous," while denouncing "for no good reason self-defensive measures taken by other 'injustice' and 'provocation.'" "This is just the arrogance of the U.S. style and its double standard," it added.

Quoting international media and experts, the researcher claimed that the contributing factor to the crisis is an imbalance of power in Europe caused by the "unilateral expansion" of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the "grave threat" to Russia's security.

The article stopped short of describing the Russian action as an invasion.