White House Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby said on Tuesday that North Korea is providing Russia with a significant number of artillery shells to use in the special military operation in Ukraine.
“Our information indicates that the DPRK [North Korea] is covertly supplying Russia’s war in Ukraine with a significant number of artillery shells while obfuscating the shipments by making it appear they are going to countries in the Middle East and North Africa,” Kirby said.
At the same time, Kirby could not confirm whether Russia had received any shipments from North Korea.
The number of shells that North Korea is allegedly sending to Russia is “not insignificant,” but the White House does not believe the supplies can tangibly change the direction of the conflict in Ukraine, Kirby said.
“We don’t believe that the material he [Russian President Vladimir Putin] is currently getting or going to get is going to change the outcome on the battlefield in any appreciable way,” Kirby said.
The United States will raise the issue during consultations with its allies and partners and will also do so at the United Nations regarding undertaking any additional accountability measures against North Korea, Kirby added.
In September, the United States said it saw indications that Russia approached North Korea to purchase ammunition. In addition, US media reported, citing Biden administration officials, that Moscow is looking to buy artillery shells as well as missiles from Pyongyang.
Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia has since denied the claims.
North Korean Belligerence
North Korea fired at least 10 missiles toward the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea on Wednesday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters.
Other details are not disclosed until the South Korean Armed Forces complete its response to the DPRK actions.
Earlier in the day, the media reported that North Korea fired at least three missiles. One of them was flying toward South Korea’s Ulleungdo Island but fell into the sea 57 kilometers (35 miles) east of the South Korean city of Sokcho.
South Korea closed some of its air routes in the Sea of Japan over Pyongyang’s missile launches, the Yonhap news agency reported, citing authorities.
The Japanese transport ministry recommended that local airlines choose alternative routes to ensure the safety of passengers who travel to the United States and Japan, the report said.
The launch of missiles by North Korea did not pose an immediate threat to US territory and personnel, as well as to Washington’s allies, the United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) said.
“We are aware of the DPRK ballistic missile launches and are consulting closely with our allies and partners. While we have assessed that this event does not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel or territory or to our allies, the missile launches highlight the DPRK’s reckless behavior and the destabilizing impact of its unlawful WMD and ballistic missile programs,” the command said in a statement.
Wednesday’s launch is North Korea’s 29th this year. North Korea has emphasized that its test launches are being carried out in response to “provocations” by South Korea, which has recently been conducting active military exercises both independently and jointly with the US and Japan.
Via Sputnik News Agency