North Korea denies selling weapons to Russia and says it doesn’t plan to do so in the future as well. This has come in the wake of US reports that Moscow was relying on Pyongyang to restock its weaponry.
US officials said earlier that Russia could purchase rockets and artillery shells from North Korea. They had earlier said that, Russia’s efforts to turn to others and also make alleged purchases of Iranian weapons, is a sign that Western sanctions were holding back Russia’s efforts in the Ukraine war. However, Russia denied all these claims in the reports at the time.
The United Nations’ sanctions make it illegal to move arms between the two countries. On Thursday, an unnamed official at North Korea’s defence ministry said, in a statement covered by North Korean state media KCNA, “We have never exported weapons or ammunition to Russia before and we will not plan to export them.”
Furthermore, the official accused the US and what Pyongyang considers “hostile forces”, of spreading stories to “pursue its base political and military aims”.
In early September, a US State Department spokesman said Russia’s North Korean purchases “could include literally millions of rounds, rockets and artillery shells.”
However, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby later said, “the purchases had not yet been completed and there was no evidence to suggest the weapons would be used in the Ukraine war.”
Russia has suffered huge financial loss in terms of its military even with using huge stock of weapons such as cruise missiles. Ukrainian forces wreak huge losses with the help of Western weapons in the recent months.
Many of North Korea’s Russian-designed weapons hail from the Soviet era, but it has missiles similar to Russian ones. North Korea’s support to Russia was clear when in July it included itself in the list of countries officially recognizing two Russian-backed separatist regions in eastern Ukraine. As a result, Ukraine cut off all diplomatic ties with Pyongyang.
Earlier in September, Russian president Vladimir Putin vowed to expand their “comprehensive and constructive bilateral relations” in a letter to his counterpart Kim Jong-un.