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Russia in process of buying ‘millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea’

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North Korea and Russia are not hiding strategic moves strengthening their relationship. “North Korea has sought to tighten relations with Russia as much of Europe and the West has pulled away, blaming the United States for the Ukraine crisis and decrying the West’s ‘hegemonic policy’ as justifying military action by Russia in Ukraine to protect itself” reports the Associated Press.

According to a newly downgraded U.S. intelligence finding, the Russian Ministry of Defense is in the process of purchasing millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea.

Russia purchased multiple “Mohajer-6 and Shahed-series unmanned aerial vehicles over several days last month as part of what the Biden administration says is likely part of a Russian plan to acquire hundreds of Iranian UAVs for use in Ukraine.”

North Korea has hinted at potentially sending construction workers to help rebuild Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine, and its ambassador recently went to Moscow to meet with envoys from two Russia-backed separatist territories in the Donbas region of Ukraine and expressed optimism about cooperation in the “field of labor migration,” citing his country’s easing pandemic border controls.

The Associated Press adds “In July, North Korea became the only nation aside from Russia and Syria to recognize the independence of the territories, Donetsk and Luhansk, further aligning with Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.”

North Korea’s arms export would in fact be in violation of a U.N. resolution which bans the country “from exporting to or importing weapons from other countries. Its possible dispatch of laborers to the Russian-held territories in Ukraine would also breach a U.N. resolution that required all member states to repatriate all North Korean workers from their soil by 2019.”

The Associated Press notes:

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kim have recently exchanged letters in which they both called for “comprehensive” and “strategic and tactical” cooperation between the countries. Moscow, for its part, has issued statements condemning the revival of large-scale military exercises between the United States and South Korea this year, which North Korea views as an invasion rehearsal.

Russia, along with China, has called for the easing of U.N. sanctions imposed on North Korea over its nuclear and missile tests. Both countries are members of the U.N. Security Council, which has approved a total of 11 rounds of sanctions on the North since 2006. In May, Russia and China vetoed a U.S.-led bid to impose new economic sanctions on North Korea over its high-profile missile tests this year.

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