The U.S. says that it has information indicating that North Korea has successfully delivered over 1,000 containers loaded with military equipment and munitions in recent weeks to Russia for its use in Ukraine.
John Kirby, the White House national-security spokesperson, informed reporters on 13 October that the U.S. believes North Korea provided the arms in the hopes of obtaining advanced Russian weapons tech in return for boosting the nuclear program of Pyongyang.
The White House published a graphic illustrating how the transfer took place. It highlights that, between 7 September and 1 October, containers had been loaded on a Russian-flagged vessel before it was transferred to rail cars and then moved to a Russia-based ammunition depot approximately 290 miles away from the border with Ukraine.
North Korea will be condemned for extending military equipment to Russia, which will be used for attacking Ukraine’s cities, taking the lives of Ukraine’s civilians, and helping further Russia’s war, Kirby explained. Efforts will be made to keep monitoring for additional North Korean arms shipments to Russia.
Earlier, the U.S. accused North Korea of offering ammunition, rockets, and artillery shells to Russia as a violation of the UN Security Council resolutions.
Besides, Kirby added that the military assistance Pyongyang sought from Russia included surface-to-air missiles, fighter aircraft, armored vehicles, ballistic missile production equipment, and other advanced tech.
He mentioned that the world must know about the support Russia may supply to North Korea, adding that the US had been closely monitoring whether Moscow would deliver it.
Last week, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (abbreviated the CSIS), a Washington think tank, published satellite images that reflected a sharp rise in rail traffic along the border of North Korea-Russia.
Among the key findings of a CSIS report issued on 6 October was that the satellite imagery of the North Korean Tumangang Rail Facility at the border with Russia reflects an unforeseen number of freight rail cars. It also said that the number of cars was 73, which is way greater than the traffic level observed at the facility in the past five years.
Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, traveled to Russia last month to meet Vladimir Putin and visit some of the critical military sites, sparking further speculation that North Korea has plans to restock Russian munitions as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine grinds on. It faces difficulties replenishing due to the sanctions.
During Kim’s trip to Russia, the two nations said they discussed enhancing defence ties but didn’t disclose any specific measures.
On meeting Putin, Kim called for an exponential rise in nuclear weapons production and for his nation to play a larger role in the coalition of nations confronting the U.S. in a “new Cold War,” per North Korea’s state media.
References: News Break, The Moscow Times
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