US Accuses North Korea Of Hiding Large Munitions Shipments To Russia
The United States is once again accusing North Korea of secretly helping the Russian war effort in Ukraine, at a moment there's been international condemnation of Iranian drones being used against Ukrainian cities.
"In September, the (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) publicly denied that it intended to provide ammunition to Russia," National Security Council official and spokesman John Kirby told CNN. "However, our information indicates that the DPRK is covertly supplying Russia’s war in Ukraine with a significant number of artillery shells, while obfuscating the real destination of the arms shipments by trying to make it appear as though they are being sent to countries in the Middle East or North Africa."
"We will continue to monitor whether these shipments are received," Kirby said, though without specifying what evidence or intelligence the US has confirming the shipments.
In the summer into early September, Western media outlets widely reported on accusations that North Korea was shipping weapons to the Russian military, including millions of rockets and artillery shells, which followed earlier unverified claims that Pyongyang said it was willing to send 100,000 of its troops to help Russia in Ukraine.
While those allegations never saw any level of confirmation, the Pentagon and US intelligence continued harboring suspicions of covert weapons shipments.
It appears this 'declassified intelligence' is now being shared openly by Kirby in order to highlight that Russia is rapidly depleting its munitions and battlefield supplies amid the ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive in the east and south.
Given Washington has lately vowed to seek to prevent and disrupt Iranian drone shipments to the Russian military, including through sanctions on Iran drone manufacturers, it is also likely to place North Korean exports under the same scrutiny and could raise the issue before the UN Security Council, as it's done with Tehran.