The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed strong disapproval of the “escalating and concerning” military collaboration between North Korea and Russia, particularly in light of reports indicating that Pyongyang is providing arms for Moscow’s conflict in Ukraine.
South Korea’s principal intelligence agency asserts that North Korea has dispatched over a million artillery shells to Moscow since the start of August, equivalent to about two months’ worth of supplies for Russia’s war. Blinken mentioned that Russia is offering “technology and assistance” to North Korea’s military initiatives, without providing further details.
In recent weeks, the United States, South Korea, and Japan have consistently voiced criticism of North Korea for its assistance to Russia in the conflict in Ukraine. They point to the movements of cargo from North Korea to Russia as evidence of this claim. Despite denials from both North Korea and Russia about any arms deals, their leaders pledged closer military cooperation during their meeting in Russia’s Far East in September.
Blinken described this relationship as a “two-way street,” where North Korea supplies military equipment to Russia for its conflict in Ukraine, and Russia, in return, offers technical support to aid North Korea’s military advancements.
Blinken expressed concern about the security of the Korean Peninsula, global non-proliferation regimes, Russian aggression towards Ukraine, and the violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions. He emphasized the gravity of these concerns.
South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin highlighted that China could have a positive and constructive role in addressing the tensions arising from the relationship between North Korea and Russia. She characterized these tensions as not aligning with Beijing’s interests.
The Relationship Between Hamas and North Korea
In Japan, on Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and fellow foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G-7) criticized North Korea for violating UN Security Council resolutions through the transfer of arms to Russia. The G-7 ministers also called for temporary ceasefires in the conflict between Israel and Hamas to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza’s civilians, given a month of Israeli military operations.
Mr. Park stated that he, along with Mr. Blinken and the G-7 ministers, urged for humanitarian pauses in the hostilities and are closely monitoring reports regarding North Korea’s potential involvement in assisting Hamas.
He further mentioned that he and Blinken also addressed North Korea’s endeavor to launch a spy satellite and urged North Korea to abandon this plan.
North Korea is reportedly gearing up for a third launch attempt after two previous failures earlier in the year. South Korea recently stated that North Korea was in the advanced stages of preparations for a launch, possibly with technical assistance from Russia.