North Korea trying to send artillery shells to Russia for use in Ukraine, White House says

Pyongyang 'covertly supplying' ammunition to Moscow

A Ukrainian soldier carries a shell near Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, Ukraine. AP
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North Korea is covertly shipping a “significant number” of artillery shells to Russia for use against Ukraine, a top US official said on Wednesday.

Pyongyang “is covertly supplying” the ammunition to Russia, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters, without elaborating on the amount of ammunition being sent to help Moscow in its war effort.

“We’re still monitoring this to determine whether the shipments are actually received,” he said.

He added that North Korea is trying to disguise these shipments to make it look like they are being sent to the Middle East or North Africa.

Mr Kirby said indications first came in September that Russia was seeking to buy millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea for the war in Ukraine.

“And now we have indications that they have purchased [them] and that they're on the move,” he said.

Citing western efforts to resupply the Ukrainian military, Mr Kirby said that the North Korean shipments are “not going to change the course of the war”.

“We're talking about artillery shells, not missiles,” he said.

The finding comes after US President Joe Biden's administration in August said the Russian military had taken delivery of hundreds of Iranian-manufactured drones for use in Ukraine.

The White House says Iran has also sent personnel to Russian-controlled Crimea to provide technical support in the operation of the drones.

Russia denies the claims and Iranian officials have denied they have provided drones or other support to Moscow.

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Updated: November 02, 2022, 3:53 PM