According to South Korean intelligence, since the beginning of August, North Korea has exported 10 shipments of weapons, including anti-aircraft and short-range ballistic missiles. North Korea has allegedly exported more than a million grenades to Russia since the beginning of August, South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS) has revealed.
As it was announced, this North Korean artillery ammunition was delivered to Moscow in ten shipments as support for the further conduct of the war in Ukraine. Yoo Sang-bum, vice chairman of South Korea's ruling People's Power Party and a member of the parliament's intelligence committee, said the NIS had informed lawmakers that the 1 million North Korean grenades delivered were enough for two months of war, according to CNN.
Ju added that parliamentarians were also presented with evidence indicating that in mid-October, North Korea sent a delegation of experts on multi-barrel rocket launchers to Moscow in order to give the Russian army more detailed instructions on the use of these weapons.
At the same time, South Korea's military said at a press briefing that the government in Pyongyang had shipped an unspecified number of short-range ballistic missiles, anti-tank missiles and portable anti-aircraft missiles to Russia, in addition to rifles, rocket launchers, mortars and grenades.
A South Korean military official says North Korean arms shipments to Russia became more frequent in October. He estimates that around 2,000 containers of ammunition were shipped from the port of Rason in the northeast of North Korea to Vladivostok, in the Russian Far East, reports the Japanese agency Kyodo.
According to US intelligence sources, North Korea delivered more than 1,000 containers of military equipment and ammunition to Russia between September 7 and October 1 alone. South Korea's intelligence service also presented to lawmakers observations on Pyongyang's final preparations for a third satellite launch attempt that was delayed last month.
An inspection of the engine and launch equipment is reportedly underway. According to Yoo Sang-bin, North Korea seems to have received advice from Russia on how to overcome technical problems and the NIS predicts a higher chance of success for the next attempt to launch a satellite into orbit.
At the request of the Ukrainian agency Ukrinform to comment on the alleged deliveries of North Korean weapons to Russia, Chinese ambassador to the UN Zhang Yun said yesterday: "China does not interfere in the bilateral cooperation of other countries.
Beijing believes that all international efforts should be directed to stop the war and restore peace in Ukraine." Although there are indications that North Korea has been sending weapons to Russia since mid-2022, Moscow and Pyongyang have rejected all these accusations as baseless.
Last week, Seoul, Washington and Tokyo strongly condemned Pyongyang over the alleged munitions shipments, saying such moves were increasing the human toll of Russia's war in Ukraine. Any arms trade with North Korea is a violation of several resolutions of the UN Security Council, which Russia, as a permanent member of the Security Council, previously supported, reminds AP.
Speculation about North Korean arms shipments flared up after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un traveled to Russia in September to meet with President Vladimir Putin. During a multi-day trip to the Russian Far East, Kim visited the Vostochny Cosmodrome, an aircraft factory in the eastern city of Komsomolsk, and toured part of the Russian Pacific Fleet's facilities in Vladivostok.
The US and its allies accused the then-North Korean leader of going to the talks with Putin to seek high-tech Russian technologies to modernize his nuclear weapons arsenal in exchange for his deliveries of conventional weapons.
That "will not reflect well on North Korea and they will pay the price for it in the international community," White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters ahead of a summit between Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un.