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North Korea ‘never’ supplied artillery to Russia, denies US reports – National

North Korea said on Tuesday it had never made an arms deal with Russia and had no plans to do so, state media reported.

White House National Security Press Secretary John Kirby said last week that the United States had obtained information indicating that North Korea was secretly supplying Russia with a “significant” number of artillery shells.

Kirby said North Korea was trying to mask the cargo by pouring it into countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and Washington was monitoring whether the cargo was received.

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North Korea secretly supplies artillery to Russia, White House says

A North Korean defense ministry official called the allegations a rumour, saying North Korea “has never had an ‘arms deal’ with Russia” and “has no plans to do so in the future.”

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“We view these actions by the United States as part of a hostile attempt to damage North Korea’s image on the international stage by invoking illegal (UN Security Council) sanctions resolutions against North Korea. ‘ said the official. A statement released by KCNA refers to North by its official initials.

Any arms aid would be another sign of deepening relations between Moscow and Pyongyang as Russia’s isolation over the war in Ukraine deepens.

North Korea is one of the few countries to recognize the independence of separated regions of Ukraine and has expressed support for Russia’s declared annexation of parts of Ukraine.

“North Korea is clearly using the war in Ukraine to strengthen ties with Russia,” said Victor Cha of the US-based Institute for Strategic and International Studies in a statement.

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Kirby’s comments suggested that Washington would monitor the cargo but would not intercept them because he did not believe it would have a significant impact on the war, he said.

But given the U.S. ability to track cargo and Russia’s ability to veto the United Nations Security Council and block action there, interception could be an option, Cha said. added.

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“To avoid a military altercation, U.S. officials can coordinate with countries that wish to hold cargo at customs to prevent it from being sent to the battlefield,” he said.

(Reporting by Soo-hyang Choi; Additional reporting by Editing by Chris Reese and Lincoln Feast ibg ny Josh Smith)

North Korea ‘never’ supplied artillery to Russia, denies US reports – National

Source link North Korea ‘never’ supplied artillery to Russia, denies US reports – National

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