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North Korea denied that it has sold arms to Russia and blasted the US and “other hostile forces” for what it saw as spreading rumors that Kim Jong-un’s regime was aiding Moscow as it fought in Ukraine. Photo: AP/File

Ukraine war: North Korea denies US claims that it is exporting weapons to Russia

  • In a state media report on Thursday, an unnamed North Korean defense official told the US to stop making ‘reckless remarks’ and to ‘keep its mouth shut’
  • Statement comes after the US said that Russia was buying artillery shells and rockets from Pyongyang to support its war in Ukraine
North Korea
North Korea says it has not exported any weapons to Russia during the war in Ukraine and has no plans to do so, and said US intelligence reports of weapons transfers were an attempt to tarnish North Korea’s image.
In comments to state media on Thursday, an unidentified North Korean defence official told the US to stop making “reckless remarks” and to “keep its mouth shut.”
The statement comes after the White House said earlier in September that Russia was buying artillery shells and rockets from communist North Korea to support its war in Ukraine.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the United States believed purchases “could include literally millions of rounds, rockets and artillery shells.”

North Korean arms exports to Russia would violate United Nations resolutions banning the country from importing or exporting weapons.

North Korea’s Kim threatens nuclear weapons amid tensions with US, South Korea

The North Korean official stressed that Pyongyang has never recognised the “unlawful” UN Security Council sanctions against the country “cooked up by the US and its vassal forces.” The official said the export and import of military equipment is a “lawful right peculiar to a sovereign state,” according to an English translation of the statement provided by North Korea.

“But we take this opportunity to make clear one thing. We have never exported weapons or ammunition to Russia before and we will not plan to export them,” said the official, who was described as a vice director general of the Defense Ministry’s general equipment bureau.

North Korea has sought to tighten relations with Russia over its aggression in Ukraine, blaming the US for the crisis and decrying the West’s “hegemonic policy” as justifying military action by Russia in Ukraine to protect itself.

The North Korean government has also hinted its interest in sending construction workers to help rebuild pro-Russia breakaway regions in the country’s east. In July, North Korea became the only nation aside from Russia and Syria to recognise the independence of the territories, Donetsk and Luhansk.
The White House indicated that the purchase of artillery ammunition from the isolated North Korean government, as well as a deal to buy military drones from Iran, showed Russia was in dire straits after months of Western economic and technological sanctions aimed at crippling its war machine.