Home News What weapons is North Korea accused of providing to Russia?

What weapons is North Korea accused of providing to Russia?


President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia will begin a two-day visit to North Korea on Tuesday to meet with one of its main arms suppliers for its war on Ukraine.

As the war drags on, Russia is desperate for the conventional weapons, including artillery shells, that North Korea can provide.

Here’s some background on what’s happened so far and why it matters.

USA First defendant North Korea sold artillery to Russia as early as September 2022, seven months after the war began. At the time, North Korea denied the accusation.

Last August, the White House warned that Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un Conducting arms negotiationsIn September, Kim Jong-un Visiting Putin in Eastern RussiaA few weeks later, US officials said North Korea has sent more than 1,000 containers of weapons to Russia for use in the war in Ukraine. Officials say North Korea has sent nearly 7,000 containers of weapons to Russia as of March.

South Korea’s defense minister said the containers could hold up to 3 million rounds if filled with 152mm shells. Or, if filled with 122mm rockets, they could hold more than 500,000 rounds. They could also hold both weapons, he said. His latest estimateForeign Minister Shin Woo-sik said last week that the number of containers shipped by North Korea to Russia was 10,000.

In addition, the White House said in January that Russia had begun launching North Korean-made ballistic missiles. Arms control experts said fragments of the short-range Hwasong-11A ballistic missile had been Found after Russian airstrike North Korea has carried out missile strikes on Ukrainian cities for months, including a February strike on Kharkiv. South Korean military officials said North Korea may also have provided anti-tank missiles, portable surface-to-air missiles, as well as rifles, rocket launchers, mortars and artillery shells. In an interview with a reporter last November.

Both Moscow and Pyongyang deny engaging in arms trade, which is prohibited by UN sanctions on North Korea.

The war in Ukraine is a war of attrition, with Russia and Ukraine seeking to overwhelm the other with firepower, firing thousands of artillery shells, missiles and rockets every day. This means that any munitions North Korea provides help Russia maintain its advantage over Ukraine.

Experts say that the Hwasong-11A series of missiles, in particular, are highly accurate and difficult to shoot down.

But at least some other weapons are considered obsolete or ineffective in some way. Last fall, General Mark Milley, then the top U.S. military official, asked whether the 152-millimeter artillery shells offered by North Korea would have a significant impact on the battlefield, said he doubted they would be “decisive.”

“Will it make a huge difference? I doubt it,” he said shortly before leaving his post as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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