North Korea denies arms exports to Russia during its invasion of Ukraine

North Korea says it has not and has no plans to export weapons to Russia during the war in Ukraine, saying US intelligence reports on arms transfers were an attempt to portray North Korea’s image. grope.

In a state media report on Thursday, an unnamed North Korean defense official told the US to stop making “reckless comments” and “shut up”.

Biden administration officials confirmed a declassified US intelligence assessment earlier this month that Russia was in the process of buying weapons from North Korea, including millions of artillery shells and missiles, as Moscow tries to resolve Ukraine’s severe supply shortages. by US-led export controls and sanctions.

The North Korean statement came weeks after Moscow described the US intelligence finding as “fake”.

North Korean arms exports to Russia are said to violate United Nations resolutions banning the country from importing or exporting arms.

The North Korean official stressed that Pyongyang has never acknowledged the “unlawful” UN Security Council sanctions against the country “imposed by the US and its vassal forces”.

The official said the export and import of military equipment is a “lawful right belonging to a sovereign state,” according to an English translation of the statement published by the official North Korean Central News Agency.

Russian army tanks are loaded on railway platforms.
The US says Russia buys weapons from North Korea.(AP: Russian Ministry of Defense)

“But we take this opportunity to make one thing clear. We have never exported weapons or ammunition to Russia and we do not intend to export them,” said the official, who was described as a deputy director. General of the General of the National Ministry of Defense. equipment desk.

“It is not certain where the rumor that the US is spreading comes from, but it is intended to tarnish the image of the DPRK,” the official said.

Facing sanctions and export controls, Russia bought Iranian-made drones in August that US officials said had technical problems.

Experts say North Korea, if it will, could become a major source of small arms, artillery and other ammunition for Russia, given the compatibility of their defense systems based on Soviet roots.

North Korea seeks closer relations with Russia

North Korea has tried to tighten relations with Russia while most of Europe and the West have pulled out, blaming the US for the crisis and decrying the West’s “hegemonic policies” as a justification for military action of Russia in Ukraine to protect itself.

The North Korean government has even hinted that it is interested in sending construction workers to help rebuild pro-Russian breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.

In July, North Korea became the only country to recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk territories, alongside Russia and Syria.

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