U.S. Intelligence Reveals North Korea and Russia in Talks for Weapons Assistance in Ukraine Conflict

The Biden administration has revealed that recent U.S. intelligence indicates active discussions between North Korea and Russia aimed at enhancing Moscow’s involvement in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The disclosure was made public on Wednesday, underscoring concerns about the escalating brutality of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby shared that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had recently visited North Korea to negotiate additional artillery ammunition. Subsequent to this visit, Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un exchanged letters affirming their intention to bolster their cooperation.

Following Shoigu’s trip, a group of Russian officials journeyed to Pyongyang for follow-up conversations regarding potential arms deals. These potential agreements entail North Korea supplying “significant quantities and multiple types” of weaponry to Russia for deployment in Ukraine. Additionally, raw materials that could enhance Russia’s military manufacturing capacity were discussed.

Kirby emphasized that any arms arrangement between North Korea and Russia would contravene several U.N. Security Council resolutions. He urged North Korea to halt arms negotiations with Russia and adhere to its prior commitments not to provide or sell arms to Russia.

These alleged arms talks are unfolding against the backdrop of an ongoing full-scale war between Russia and Ukraine. Despite substantial Western military support, a Ukrainian counteroffensive has yet to yield significant breakthroughs. Both sides are depleting ammunition and actively seeking advantages to secure a lasting upper hand.

The information’s sourcing was not detailed by Kirby to safeguard intelligence methods. This development underscores the Biden administration’s strategy of publicly disclosing intelligence to proactively address Moscow’s actions during the conflict.

Kirby remarked that Putin’s engagement with North Korea, a country notably isolated, signifies desperation on Putin’s part. He acknowledged the uncertainty surrounding the duration of Russia’s war campaign and characterized the situation as indicative of weakness.

North Korea has previously violated U.N. sanctions by sending artillery to Russia through intermediaries in the Middle East and North Africa. Russia has also sought weaponry from Iran, employing Iranian drones to target Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure.

The revelation coincided with South Korea’s announcement that North Korea had launched a ballistic missile in response to joint military exercises conducted by the U.S. and South Korea.

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