The White House is again accusing Moscow of importing North Korean weapons for use in its military operation in Ukraine, at a moment tensions with Pyongyang are mounting, which has led to tit-for-tat exchanges of nuclear rhetoric.
White House national security spokesman John Kirby on Wednesday stopped short of saying there’s smoking gun evidence for arms transfers already accomplished, instead strongly suggesting potential sales in the near future. “We urge the DPRK to cease its arms negotiations with Russia and abide by the public commitments that Pyongyang has made to not provide or sell arms to Russia,” Kirby said.
Presidents Putin and Kim Jong Un recently exchanged cordial letters expressing a desire for closer cooperation on multiple fronts, also after North Korea has blasted NATO ‘imperialism’ for causing the Ukraine conflict to erupt. Russia sent a delegation to the north last month, headed by the foreign minister.
Kirby referenced new intelligence which he said shows both pariah leaders (in the West’s eyes) are “actively advancing” high-level talks for more weapons.
He further claimed that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu while in Pyongyang late last month was there “to try to convince Pyongyang to sell artillery ammunition to Russia.”
“Following these negotiations, high-level discussions may continue in coming months,” Kirby said, alleging the two sides are negotiating over “significant quantities and multiple types” of weapons to use in Ukraine.
Washington has over the course of the Ukraine conflict at various points accused North Korea of supplying the Russian military with additional artillery ammo. US intelligence has in the recent past alleged that train shipments between the two countries included covert ammo supplies, but something which has not been proven.
The two countries actually share a small border. More recently, there have been accusations that Wagner Group, which is now on the outs with Moscow in the wake of the mutiny in June, purchased large quantities of arms and equipment from the Kim Jong-Un government.
Wed, 08/30/2023 – 22:40