North Korea denies reports it has supplied weapons to Russia
North Korea is denying it sold munitions to Russia after the United States and a Japanese media report said Pyongyang has completed at least two weapons deliveries to the Kremlin.
North Korea’s foreign ministry on Friday called the accusations “groundless,” and slammed the United States for “bringing bloodshed and destruction to Ukraine by providing it with various kinds of lethal weapons,” according to the North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency, as reported by Reuters.
Japan’s Tokyo Shimbun outlet earlier had reported that Pyongyang last month shipped aboard a train munitions including artillery shells to Russia. Additional shipments were expected in the coming weeks, according to the report.
“The Japanese media’s false report that the DPRK offered munitions to Russia is the most absurd red herring, which is not worth any comment or interpretation,” a ministry spokesperson said in a statement published by KCNA.
White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters Thursday that the North had completed an initial arms delivery to Russian mercenary group Wagner, paid for by the organization. The shipment follows another one last month from the isolated country that included infantry rockets and missiles sent to Russia for Wagner to use, he said.
“North Korean officials have said publicly that they would not support Russia’s war in Ukraine — and yet here they are delivering arms to Wagner, in direct violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions,” Kirby said, noting that the U.S. plans to raise violations from North Korea with the council.
The North Korean statement did not mention Wagner, though the group’s leader has called the U.S. claims “gossip and speculation.”
The North Korean spokesperson said the arms transactions between Pyongyang and Moscow “has never happened.”
Russia has had to turn to world pariahs including Iran and North Korea to help supply its unprovoked war in Ukraine.
The U.S. claims Tehran has been shipping Moscow armed drones, while Pyongyang is covertly supplying Russia with rockets and artillery shells.
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