There is speculation regarding North Korea’s potential involvement in aiding Russia in resupplying its munitions during the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. On Friday, the White House announced that North Korea had delivered large shipments of military equipment to Russia.
The visit of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to Russian President Vladimir Putin last month has raised suspicions about the nature of their collaboration. According to a report by the Associated Press, both leaders were seen touring crucial military facilities during this visit.
John Kirby, the spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, revealed that the United States has reason to believe that Kim’s recent visit to Russia may have involved discussions about potential exchanges of goods. It is widely believed that Kim is seeking access to advanced weapons technology while providing Russia with additional munitions to support its activities in Ukraine.
“We strongly criticize the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for providing military equipment to Russia, which has the potential to be employed in targeting Ukrainian cities and endangering Ukrainian civilians, thereby advancing Russia’s unlawful conflict,” Kirby stated his objection.
“As part of this support arrangement, we believe that Pyongyang is actively pursuing military aid from Russia, which may encompass fighter aircraft, surface-to-air missiles, armored vehicles, ballistic missile production machinery, and various other cutting-edge technologies.
“Despite North Korea’s apparent support for Russia, it has also accused the United States of provocative actions, particularly in response to the arrival of a US aircraft carrier battle group in South Korea. North Korea has even suggested its readiness to employ nuclear weapons in self-defense.
In retaliation, the United States has accused North Korea of supplying ammunition, artillery shells, and rockets to Russia to aid its efforts in Eastern Europe. However, North Korea vehemently denies any involvement in providing military materials to Russia.
Additionally, there have been reports of increased rail traffic along the North Korea-Russia border, which experts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington have considered unusual. This Washington think tank reportedly employed satellite imagery to confirm these observations.
North Korea has been issuing nuclear threats against the United States for several years, though it has not taken concrete actions. Despite international agreements prohibiting nuclear weapons testing, North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests since the ban was initiated in 1996, occurring in 2006, 2009, 2013, 2016, and 2017.
Recently, the United States announced its intention to develop a method for testing its nuclear stockpile without causing explosions. This move has prompted Russia to threaten to withdraw its commitment to the nuclear test ban treaty.