North Korea criticized the United States on Friday for deciding to send Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine, saying the plan has only escalated the situation surrounding the war in Ukraine.

Washington is "further crossing the red line" and revealing its confrontational stance against Russia with the move, Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and a senior official of the country's ruling party, said in a statement.

Pyongyang, traditionally known for its close relations with Russia, has backed the invasion of Ukraine, which began nearly a year ago, saying pressure from the United States and Europe forced Moscow's hand.

The United States "is mulling mobilizing the military potentials of its top-class stooges on the anti-Russian front, to say nothing of those of the Western countries," the vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea said.

The Korean Central News Agency, the country's official media, released the statement.

"The U.S. is the arch criminal which poses serious threat and challenge to the strategic security of Russia and pushes the regional situation to the present grave phase," it said.

U.S. President Joe Biden said earlier this week that Washington has decided to provide the technologically advanced tanks to Ukraine, following Germany's decision to supply its Leopard 2 battle tanks.

Other countries, such as Britain and Canada, also unveiled similar plans to help Ukraine enhance its defense capabilities against Russia.

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