North Korea denies it is arming Russia in Ukraine struggle

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea says it hasn’t exported any weapons to Russia throughout the struggle in Ukraine and has no plans to take action, and stated U.S. intelligence experiences of weapons transfers had been an try and tarnish North Korea’s picture.

In a state media report Thursday, an unnamed North Korean protection official instructed the U.S. to cease making “reckless remarks” and to “maintain its mouth shut.” Biden administration officers earlier this month confirmed a declassified U.S. intelligence evaluation that Russia was within the course of of buying arms from North Korea, together with tens of millions of artillery shells and rockets, as Moscow makes an attempt to ease extreme provide shortages in Ukraine worsened by U.S.-led export controls and sanctions.

The North Korean assertion got here weeks after Moscow described the U.S. intelligence discovering as “faux.”

See: U.S. plane service arrives in South Korea for joint drills amid tensions with North

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

The North Korean official burdened that Pyongyang has by no means acknowledged the “illegal” U.N. Safety Council sanctions in opposition to the nation “cooked up by the U.S. and its vassal forces.” The official stated the export and import of army gear is a “lawful proper peculiar to a sovereign state,” in response to an English translation of the assertion printed by the North’s official Korean Central Information Company.

“However we take this chance to clarify one factor. We now have by no means exported weapons or ammunition to Russia earlier than and we is not going to plan to export them,” stated the official, who was described as a vice director basic of the Nationwide Protection Ministry’s basic gear bureau.

“It’s not certain from the place the rumor originated which the U.S. is spreading, however it’s geared toward tarnishing the DPRK’s picture,” the official stated, referring to the nation’s formal title, the Democratic Folks’s Republic of Korea.

See: Russian proxy chief in Ukraine’s japanese Donetsk area requires North Korea ties

Dealing with sanctions and export controls, Russia in August purchased Iranian-made drones that U.S. officers stated had technical issues. Consultants say North Korea, if keen, might change into a serious supply of small arms, artillery and different ammunition for Russia, contemplating the compatibility of their protection techniques primarily based on Soviet roots.

North Korea has sought to tighten relations with Russia whilst most of Europe and the West has pulled away, blaming the U.S. for the disaster and decrying the West’s “hegemonic coverage” as justifying army motion by Russia in Ukraine to guard itself.

The North Korean authorities has even hinted it’s occupied with sending building employees to assist rebuild pro-Russia breakaway areas in Ukraine’s east. In July, North Korea grew to become the one nation except for Russia and Syria to acknowledge the independence of the territories, Donetsk and Luhansk.

North Korea additionally has used the struggle as a window to speed up its personal arms improvement, testing dozens of weapons together with its first long-range missiles since 2017, exploiting a divide within the U.N. Safety Council, the place Russia and China have blocked U.S. makes an attempt to tighten sanctions on Pyongyang.

The North has punctuated its testing exercise with repeated threats of nuclear battle with Seoul and Washington. The most recent was a regulation handed by Pyongyang’s rubber-stamp parliament this month that additional enshrined the nation’s standing as a nuclear energy and licensed the pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons over a broad vary of situations the place its management comes beneath risk.

Sung Kim, the Biden administration’s particular consultant for North Korea, met with South Korean counterpart Kim Gunn in Seoul on Thursday the place they expressed “critical concern” over the North’s escalating nuclear doctrine spelled out within the new regulation, South Korea’s Overseas Ministry stated.

The diplomats reaffirmed the U.S. dedication to defend South Korea within the occasion of a nuclear struggle with the total vary of its army capabilities, together with nuclear. The allies additionally maintained their months-old evaluation that North Korea is gearing as much as conduct its first nuclear take a look at since 2017 and mentioned “stern” countermeasures to such an motion, the ministry stated.

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