There is speculation that North Korea may be helping Russia replenish its munitions amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The White House announced on Friday that the Asian country has provided more than 1,000 containers of military equipment to Russia.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un apparently visited Russian President Vladimir Putin last month, which has raised suspicion on the partnership they may have formed. The Associated Press reported that the two leaders visited important military sites.
The report stated that White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. believes Kim’s recent visit to Russia included a potential exchange of goods. It is believed that Kim is looking for more sophisticated weapons technologies, and in return will provide Russia with more munitions for its fight against Ukraine.
“We condemn the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] for providing Russian with this military equipment, which will be used to attack Ukrainian cities and kill Ukrainian civilians and further Russia’s illegitimate war,” Kirby said.
“In return for support, we assess the Pyongyang is seeking military assistance from Russia including fighter aircraft, surface to air missiles, armored vehicles, ballistic missile production equipment, or other materials and other advanced technologies.”
Despite North Korea appearing to support Russia, the country claimed that the arrival of a U.S. aircraft carrier battle group in South Korea was a provocation. North Korea has suggested that it would be prepared to use nuclear weapons to defend itself if necessary, per the report.
In response, the U.S. accused North Korea of providing ammunition, artillery shells, and even rockets to Russia for its effort in Eastern Europe. However, the Asian country has denied providing any military material to Russia.
There has been increased rail traffic along the North Korea-Russia border that is considered unusual, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank based in Washington. The think tank reportedly used satellite images to confirm their findings.
North Korea has threatened the U.S. with nuclear war for years, but the country has not followed through. Despite an international agreement to ban the testing of nuclear weapons, North Korea has carried out several nuclear tests since the agreement was put into place in 1996.
The Asian country has tested nuclear weapons six times since the ban, in 2006, 2009, 2013, 2016, and 2017.
The U.S. has recently announced that it is working on a way to test its nuclear stockpile without setting off an explosion, which has prompted Russian to threaten to rescind its signature on the nuclear test ban.
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