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North Korea uses Ukraine “as test site for nuclear-capable missiles,” South Korea says at UN SC meeting

UN Security Council discusses North Korea supplying missiles to Russia used in attacks against Ukraine: South Korea says by exporting its missile to Russia, D​PRK uses Ukraine as a test site; Poland calls to boost Ukraine aid, saying the world cannot afford to be fatigued.
Debris of an allegedly North Korean missile’s tail part found in Kharkiv City in early January 2024, following a Russian missile attack. Photo via Ukrinform
North Korea uses Ukraine “as test site for nuclear-capable missiles,” South Korea says at UN SC meeting

On 10 January, the UN Security Council discussed the supply of missiles from North Korea to Russia. The US earlier urged the Council to discuss the issue after it became known that Russia started using such missiles against Ukraine.

In a joint statement earlier, the US and seven other nations asked the council to join them in demanding North Korea end its missile transfers to Russia, according to SkyNews.

Earlier, the White House, citing newly declassified intelligence, announced that North Korea supplied Russia with ballistic missiles and launchers, some of which have been used in the ongoing war in Ukraine. 

A map released by White House spokesman John Kirby on 4 January 2024, showing where Russia launched the North Korean missiles into Ukraine (near Zaporizhzhia). The left picture shows the North Korean KN-23 missile looking almost identical to the Russian Iskander, the right image shows the KN-24 looking similar to the US-made ATACMS.

South Korea‘s representative to the UN noted that North Korea provided Russia with short-range missiles that Russia used to fire into Ukraine in December and January. He strongly condemned it, saying that “by exporting missiles to Russia, North Korea is using Ukraine as a test site of its nuclear-capable missiles.”

Ukraine‘s representative, Serhii Kyslytsia, said that any transfers of North Korea’s weapons to Russia are in contravention of multiple UN resolutions. He noted that the Kharkiv Oblast Prosecutor’s Office identified a missile in the area that was visually and technically different from typical Russian missiles. Experts have stated that this missile bears similarities to one of the North Korean types, according to Kyslytsia.

The Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office said on 7 January that the examination of the tail part of a missile recently launched by Russia against Kharkiv City suggests North Korea could have supplied it, but the initial report needs to be additionally verified.

The UK‘s representative to the UN condemned Russia’s use of North Korean missiles against Ukraine, calling it a “sign of recklessness and desperation” and that this “violates multiple resolutions.” She said all countries should stop weapon supplies to Russia, as “ending Russia’s access to foreign weapons will help end this war.”

China, acting as a de facto Russian ally, once again called for “peace” talks, claiming that both sides should “step up diplomatic efforts,” saying it is “deeply worried” about the situation in  Ukraine.

Russia‘s representative to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, claimed the US appeared to be spreading “wrong” information about North Korean supplies of missiles to Russia. Otherwise, instead of addressing the issue in question, he switched to allegations that Ukraine ostensibly used cluster munitions to shell Russia’s Belgorod on 30 December,  which allegedly killed 25 people.

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