A Dangerous Alliance
U.S. accuses North Korea of sending artillery shells to Russia
North Korea is covertly sending artillery shells to Russia to assist them in their ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the Biden administration said Wednesday.
The accusation was first reported by CNN, and later confirmed during a briefing by White House National Security spokesperson John Kirby. Kirby said the U.S. had received intelligence that North Korea had been sending "significant" weaponry to Russia through backdoor channels in the Middle East and Africa, Reuters reported.
"Our indications are that [North Korea] is covertly supplying, and we are going to monitor to see whether the shipments are received," Kirby said. He added that U.S. officials would be consulting with the United Nations over possible next steps.
However, Kirby said the North Korean shells were unlikely to change the outcome or course of the war, especially given the strategic alliances Ukraine has with Western partners. "We don't believe that [the artillery shells] are in such a quantity that they would change the direction of this war or tangibly change the momentum," Kirby told reporters, per The Associated Press.
Reports of Russia purchasing weapons from North Korea first came to light in September, though North Korean officials have denied sending Russia any supplies.
The accusation from the United States comes amidst continuing tensions between North Korea and much of the Western world, and occurred as the hermit state launched a barrage of at least 23 missiles into the sea off the South Korean coast, which South Korean officials called "territorial encroachment."