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Proof of Russian use of North Korean missiles in Ukraine unveiled at UN

The experts analyzed missile debris from a Russian strike on Kharkiv on 2 January 2024.
North Korea missiles used in Ukraine
A fragment of a missile found at the site of the attack on Kharkiv on 2 January 2024. Image: Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office
Proof of Russian use of North Korean missiles in Ukraine unveiled at UN

The United Nations Security Council heard compelling evidence on July 28 that North Korean missiles have been used by Russia in attacks on Ukraine. 

Facing ammunition shortages and limited market access, Russia has turned to North Korea for support in its Ukraine war. In return, Moscow allegedly assists Pyongyang with its nuclear and missile programs, violating UN sanctions.

Jonah Leff, executive director of Conflict Armament Research, presented the UN with “irrefutable” proof that ballistic missile remnants found in Ukraine originated from North Korea.

Leff’s organization conducted a detailed analysis of missile debris from a strike on Kharkiv on 2 January. The missile was identified as either a KN-23 or KN-24, manufactured in North Korea in 2023. Nearly 300 components from 26 companies across eight countries were documented in the analysis.

“Our teams inspected three additional identical D​PRK missiles that struck Kyiv and Zaporizhzhia earlier this year,” Leff said

Further evidence included three identical North Korean missiles that struck Kyiv and Zaporizhzhia earlier this year. Additional conventional weapons, including a 1977 artillery rocket, were also observed on the Ukrainian front lines, potentially part of a recent larger consignment that Russia received from North Korea.

The presentation sparked controversy in the council, with the US and its Western allies accusing Russia and North Korea of violating the UN arms embargo on North Korea. Both accused nations dismissed these claims as “baseless accusations.”

The Security Council meeting was convened at the request of France, Japan, South Korea, the UK, and the US.

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