(CTN News) – In newly declassified intelligence, the US is accusing North Korea of supplying Russia with artillery shells for the Ukraine war by concealing where they are being transported.
The US authorities believe that the secret North Korean shipments, along with the drones and other weaponry acquired by Russia from Iran, provide further evidence that Moscow’s conventional artillery arsenals have dwindled during the eight months of combat.
North Korea is attempting to conceal the shipments by making it appear that the ammunition is being sent to countries in the Middle East or North Africa, according to intelligence sources.
Recently, the US intelligence community reported that it believed Russia was in the process of buying millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea for use on the battlefield, CNN and other outlets reported.
A statement by the National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications, John Kirby, said that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea publicly denied that it intended to provide ammunition to Russia in September.
Nevertheless, our information indicates that the DPRK is covertly providing Russia with a significant quantity of artillery shells during its war in Ukraine, while obfuscating the true destination of the arms shipments by attempting to make it appear that they are being dispatched to countries in the Middle East or North Africa.
There was no evidence provided by officials to support the new allegations. Also, based on the declassified intelligence, it is not known how many weapons are included in the shipments or how they will be paid for.
Kirby noted that Russia has continued to rely on actors such as Iran and North Korea to sustain its aggressive war in Ukraine despite supply shortages and the effectiveness of international sanctions.
Resupply of Russian artillery is ongoing
In contrast, American officials have publicly cited the alleged deal as evidence that Russia is running out of weapons with which to continue the conflict.
Recently, the Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines argued that “export controls are forcing Russia to turn to countries like Iran and North Korea for supplies, including UAVs, artillery shells, and rockets.”
The US remains committed to providing Ukraine with continued security assistance, despite the support from Iran and North Korea, Kirby said on Wednesday.
It is possible that the shipments may now contribute to Russia’s war effort by strengthening an important part of its frontline artillery combat.
Can US citizens go to North Korea?
Do not travel to North Korea due to the continuing serious risk of arrest and long-term detention of U.S. nationals. Exercise increased caution to North Korea due to the critical threat of wrongful detention.