On Tuesday, Dmitry Peskov, the spokesperson for the Kremlin, asserted that there is insufficient evidence to support the claim that North Korea has been providing weapons to Russia. He voiced his criticism towards the intelligence agencies of both the United States and the United Kingdom, contending that they have habitually made assertions regarding Pyongyang’s arms exports without offering substantial proof to substantiate their allegations.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited Russia last month and met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, stoking suspicion in Western countries about the prospect of a weapons trade.
When asked about the reported arms shipments, Peskov told Russian news agencies that such reports are consistently made without offering any substantiating evidence. Although Russia indicated that no formal agreements were reached during Kim’s September visit, President Putin expressed the presence of potential avenues for military collaboration.
However, on Friday, the White House announced that North Korea has already transported more than 1,000 shipments of military equipment and ammunition to Russia in the past few weeks, intended for deployment in Ukraine.
Western analysts suggest that Russia is intensifying its campaign to capture a crucial city in eastern Ukraine, following apparent setbacks that have caused delays in its ongoing attacks. The city in question is Avdiivka, which is heavily fortified and acts as a significant obstacle to Moscow’s goal of gaining control over the entire Donetsk region. According to the UK defense ministry, this might be Russia’s most substantial offensive operation in Ukraine so far this year.
Despite Russia’s statement that no formal agreements were made during Kim’s visit in September, President Putin expressed his belief in potential avenues for military collaboration. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is set to visit the secretive nation for a two-day trip starting on Wednesday, with the specifics of the visit still shrouded in uncertainty.
Russia and North Korea, long-standing allies, are both facing extensive international sanctions. Russia is subject to these sanctions due to its actions in Ukraine, while North Korea is sanctioned for its nuclear weapons testing. The United States has previously alleged that North Korea supplied ammunition to Russia’s Wagner mercenary group.