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“Dangerous” arms shipments from North Korea to Russia trouble US

The US reiterates concerns over North Korea’s alleged role in supplying arms to Russia amidst the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war, deeming such transfers “dangerous.”
Mulriple artillery pieces at North Korea’s “Combined Fire Demonstration” held to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the North Korean army, in Wonsan, North Korea, in April 2017. Screenshot: North Korea’s KRT, via AP.
“Dangerous” arms shipments from North Korea to Russia trouble US

On 17 October, the US expressed concerns over alleged arms shipments from North Korea to Russia, terming these transfers as “dangerous,” and the North Korea-Russia ties “very worrying,” according to CNBC and Reuters.

The US Special Representative for North Korea, Sung Kim, told reporters these weapons deliveries between the two countries were “dangerous” and “destabilizing,” while the relations between North Korea (the D​PRK) and Russia are “very worrying.” He said it after meeting his South Korean and Japanese counterparts in Jakarta and reaffirmed the US commitment to protecting its allies.

The meeting took place after the White House said on 13 October that North Korea provided 1,000 containers of equipment and munitions to Russia for use in the Ukraine war to Russia.

On 17 October, a Kremlin spokesman denied these accusations, claiming that “statements by British intelligence about arms supplies to the Russian Federation from the D​PRK are unsubstantiated,” according to TASS.

Meanwhile, South Korea also suggests North Korea’s links to the Hamas militant group fighting against Israel. Talking to Yonhap News, a senior official from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the D​PRK appears to be linked to Hamas in the weapons trade, tactical guidance, and trainings, and could use tactics similar to those used against Israel for a surprise attack on South Korea.

  • In November 2022, the US accused North Korea of secret supplies of artillery shells to Russia for use against Ukraine.
  • A month later, the White House claimed Russia’s Wagner Group mercenary company took delivery of an arms shipment from North Korea to help bolster Russian forces in Ukraine.
  • In September 2023, the Ukrainian military intelligence chief said Pyongyang had been providing military assistance to Moscow, albeit discreetly.
  • Later the same month, South Korea’s senior presidential official confirmed that the D​PRK’s weapons were spotted on the battlefield in Ukraine.
  • Satellite imagery captured on 5 October 2023 indicated the flow of rail traffic between North Korea and Russia.
  • On 13 October, US Security Council spokesman John Kirby said: “We condemn the D​PRK for providing Russia with this military equipment, which will be used to attack Ukrainian cities.”

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