SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea says it hasn’t exported any weapons to Russia in the course of the battle in Ukraine and has no plans to take action, and stated U.S. intelligence experiences of weapons transfers have 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 “hold 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.”
North Korean arms exports to Russia would violate United Nations resolutions banning the nation from importing or exporting weapons.
The North Korean official careworn 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 navy gear is a “lawful proper peculiar to a sovereign state,” in keeping with 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’ve got by no means exported weapons or ammunition to Russia earlier than and we won’t plan to export them,” stated the official, who was described as a vice director common of the Nationwide Protection Ministry’s common gear bureau.
“It’s not positive 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 identify, the Democratic Folks’s Republic of Korea.
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 prepared, might change into a serious supply of small arms, artillery and different ammunition for Russia, contemplating the compatibility of their protection techniques based mostly 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 navy motion by Russia in Ukraine to guard itself.
North Korea additionally has used the battle 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 Korean authorities has additionally hinted it’s inquisitive about sending building staff to assist rebuild pro-Russia breakaway areas in Ukraine’s east. In July, North Korea grew to become the one nation apart from Russia and Syria to acknowledge the independence of the territories, Donetsk and Luhansk.
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