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The Russian Defense Ministry is reportedly buying millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea to support its ongoing war against Ukraine, according to new US intelligence.
A U.S. official said on Monday that Russia watching the isolated state of North Korea shows that the Russian military “continues to suffer from severe supply shortages in Ukraine, in part because of export controls and sanctions. “.
US intelligence officials have said Russia may later try to buy more military equipment from North Korea.
It comes after the Biden administration announced that the Russian military received Iranian drones in August for its invasion of Ukraine. But last week, the White House said Russia had encountered technical problems with Iranian-made drones.
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Russia had recovered the Mohajer-6 and Shahed series unmanned aerial vehicles last month.
North Korea has sought to strengthen relations with Russia as many European and Western countries have moved away from Moscow. The North blamed the United States for the war in Ukraine and claimed the West’s “hegemonic policy” had justified Russia’s military action in Ukraine, saying it was protecting itself.
Russia and Syria were joined by North Korea in July as the only countries to recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
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The North supplying arms to Russia would violate UN resolutions prohibiting it from exporting or importing weapons through other countries.
As North Korea considers exporting military hardware to Russia, the Biden administration has grown increasingly concerned about the North and its quest for nuclear weapons.
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The country has tested more than 30 ballistic missiles so far this year, including its first intercontinental ballistic missile launch since 2017. This, as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un tries to bolster his nuclear arsenal despite pressure and US sanctions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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