- Zubaida Abdul Jalil
- BBC News
4 hour(s) ago
North Korea has said it has never supplied Russia with weapons or ammunition and has no plans to do so.
The statement came amid US reports that Moscow had asked Pyongyang to replenish its military stockpiles.
US officials said that Russia is in the process of buying millions of missile and artillery shells from North Korea for the war in Ukraine.
According to them, such steps, together with the purchase of Iranian weapons, showed that the anti-Russian sanctions dealt a serious blow to the Russian defense industry and significantly reduced Moscow’s ability to equip its army in the war in Ukraine.
Moscow then denied this information.
Any agreement to purchase weapons from North Korea is a violation of UN resolutions aimed at prohibiting the proliferation of weapons from the DPRK.
On Thursday, the North Korean news agency CTAK published a statement from an unnamed official of the North Korean Ministry of Defense: “We have never exported weapons or ammunition to Russia, and we do not plan to do so.”
He accused the US and other “hostile forces” of spreading rumors to achieve “their political and military goals”.
The US has previously said that Russia plans to buy missiles and millions of shells for artillery systems from North Korea.
However, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby later added that the purchases had not yet been completed and there was no evidence that the weapons would be used in the war in Ukraine.
Experts believe that North Korea could theoretically become a major Source of small arms, artillery and other munitions for Russia, as both have defense systems based on systems developed during the Soviet era.
Even earlier, the US said that Russia had received the first batches of Iranian-made drones and that Russian operators had gone to Iran for training. Iran denies this information.
Iran and North Korea are themselves under serious Western sanctions, and the fact of addressing these countries indicates that the situation in Russia is even worse, according to Washington.
“This demonstrates that the Russian army is suffering from an acute shortage of supplies in Ukraine, partly caused by export and import restrictions,” one of the American officials said in a comment to AR.
“The fact that it has to buy anything from North Korea at all should alarm the Kremlin,” says Mason Clark, head of the Russian policy department at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Russian-North Korean relations deteriorated after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, but have gradually recovered in recent years amid worsening relations between Russia and the West.
The last allies
Pyongyang supported the Russian invasion of Ukraine. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said that the goal of ending American hegemony justifies Russia’s military methods.
He recognized the independence of “L/DPR” in eastern Ukraine and promised to strengthen friendship with Moscow.
In response, Ukraine severed all diplomatic relations with Pyongyang.
Iran officially denies supplying weapons to any of the parties, however, according to American intelligence, the Russian military went to Tehran for training in the control of Iranian-made Mohajer-6 and Shahed drones.
However, according to US intelligence, many drones destined for Moscow had technical problems.
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