The United States reportedly claims that North Korea is secretly supplying Russia with artillery shells for use against Ukraine in the ongoing war, defying the East Asian country’s earlier refusal.
CNN, citing newly declassified intelligence, said on Wednesday that North Korea is trying to conceal its alleged deliveries to Russia, giving the impression that it is actually going to countries in the Middle East or North Africa.
Newsweek was unable to confirm the report on his own and asked the Kremlin and the Korean Democratic Republic’s (DPRK) Permanent Mission to the United Nations for verification and comment.
At the beginning of September New York Times and other points reported that Russia is buying millions of artillery and rockets from North Korea and is expected to make additional purchases in the future. Experts then said the alleged purchases, if real, could indicate an exhaustion of Russian supplies in the war that began when Ukraine was att*cked on February 24.
In a statement released later that month, an official described as the “Deputy Director General of the General Equipment Office of the Ministry of National Defense” to the DPRK (the official title of North Korea) denied the reports.
“We are taking this opportunity to clarify one thing,” said the official. “We’ve never exported weapons or ammunition to Russia before, and we don’t intend to export them. It is uncertain where the rumor was spreading by the United States, but it is intended to tarnish the image of the DPRK. “
In light of new reports that North Korea allegedly supplied Russia with artillery shells, said David Welch, university research director and professor of political science at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Newsweek that “there was no doubt” that North Korea sided with Russia in the war.
“It is one of only a handful of countries that have voted against [United Nations General Assembly] A resolution condemning the invasion in the first place, ”he said. “And it is one of the few countries that voted against Russia’s condemnation of the annexation of Ukrainian territory.
North Korea is “very tight” in the Russian camp, Welch added.
When the UN General Assembly voted in early March to adopt a resolution condemning the Russian invasion and calling for the immediate withdrawal of troops, only Syria, Belarus, Eritrea and Russia joined North Korea in voting against it. North Korea, Belarus, Nicaragua, Russia and Syria voted against the others resolution Last month, he called on countries not to recognize Russia’s pledged annexation of Ukraine’s four regions, which world leaders deemed unlawful and illegal.
Natalia Slavney, research fellow at the Stimson Center think tank and assistant editor on page 38 North, which provides analysis on North Korea, said Newsweek that North Korea has “clearly expressed its support for Russia throughout 2022.”
Like Welch, Slavney noted that North Korea was one of the countries that voted against the resolution in March and pointed to promises of mutual support and deepening relations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. A few days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, North Korea blamed the outbreak of the conflict on “hegemonic politics” and “prudence” between the US and the West, reports Reuters.
“Russia and North Korea also have a long history of economic cooperation,” Slavney said.
She added that rail trade has reportedly resumed between the two countries recently, so “sending weapons and related supplies would make sense given the context.”
Russian news agency Interfax said Wednesday that railroad trade between Russia and North Korea has resumed after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.
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