Seoul says North Korea has sent weapons to Russia

Seoul says North Korea has sent weapons to Russia

The South Korean Defense Minister announced on Monday that North Korea has shipped about seven thousand containers of weapons to Russia for use in its war against Ukraine since July.

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Historical allies Russia and North Korea are subject to global sanctions, Moscow because of its invasion of Ukraine, and Pyongyang because of its nuclear weapons tests.

Their leaders, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un, held a summit in the Russian Far East last September, after which the United States claimed that Pyongyang had begun supplying weapons to Moscow.

South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-sik said during a press conference held on Monday, as his ministry reported to Agence France-Presse, that “the number of containers coming from the North to Russia has increased by 300 to about 7,000 containers in total so far.”

This number refers to materials sent since July, and Shen said that “with some sea routes now suspended, some have been sent by rail to Russia.”

The United States claimed last October that arms shipments from Pyongyang to Moscow were underway, and estimated that North Korea had delivered more than a thousand containers of military equipment and munitions to Russia at the time.

The following month, Seoul accused Pyongyang of sending more than a million artillery shells to Russia, with North Korea in return appearing to receive technical advice from Moscow on its plan to launch a satellite, a military admission.

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During his visit to Russia in September, Kim said that bilateral relations with Moscow were his country's “number one priority,” and that Pyongyang had become a staunch defender of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

According to Washington and experts, Pyongyang is seeking military support in return, especially in the field of satellite technology and modernizing its military equipment dating back to the Soviet era.

North Korean state media said on Monday that Kim sent a congratulatory message to Russian President Vladimir Putin on his re-election with a record 87.29% of the vote, which was rigged in a crackdown on the opposition.

“I will strongly cooperate with you and move the friendship between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Russia to a new era,” the message said.

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About the Author: Hermínio Guimarães

"Introvertido premiado. Viciado em mídia social sutilmente charmoso. Praticante de zumbis. Aficionado por música irritantemente humilde."

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