Russia buying North Korean arms to bolster Ukraine war effort: Official
Sep 07, 2022 - 12:48 PM
WASHINGTON (AA) – Russia has begun the process to buy millions of artillery shells and rockets from North Korea to support its war effort against Ukraine, the White House confirmed on Tuesday.
The decision to pursue munitions from Pyongyang comes as western sanctions and export restrictions have limited the flow of critical technologies to Russia.
“We have indications that they’re in the process of purchasing” North Korean weapons, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters, adding that there are no indications that the purchase has been completed.
“Our sense is it could include literally millions of rounds, rockets and artillery shells from North Korea,” he said.
“It’s an indication of how much his defense industrial establishment is suffering as a result of this war and the degree of desperation that he’s reaching out to countries like Iran and North Korea for assistance,” Kirby said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The US assessment on Russia’s purchases was first reported by the New York Times on Monday based on declassified US intelligence. It offered few details on the exact arms Russia is in the process of purchasing, and the Times said it could not independently verify the sale.
The Times’ report was corroborated by multiple US media outlets.
The disclosure comes after the US said Iran supplied Russia with an initial shipment of drones in August to aid its offensive against Ukraine with American officials warning that some of the unmanned vehicles have malfunctioned in theater.WASHINGTON, USA – Supporters of Ukraine hold a rally celebrating the country’s Independence Day and defense against Russia’s attacks, in front of the White House in Lafayette Square on August 27, 2022 in Washington, United States. ( Nathan Posner – Anadolu Agency )