South Korea’s main intelligence agency has issued a new warning alleging that North Korea is ramping up artillery supplies to Russia, after Kim Jong-Un’s somewhat lengthy trip to Russia’s east which took place in September.
South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) told lawmakers that Pyongyang has sent over one million artillery shells for use in Ukraine. Washington too has long voiced suspicions that the north is arming Russia’s military on a large-scale.
After the intelligence briefing, South Korean lawmaker Yoo Sang-bum told a press briefing, “The NIS has learned that more than one million artillery rounds have been transferred.” Yoo added that “It’s analyzed to be sufficient for around two months in the Russia-Ukraine war.”
He then asserted that Pyongyang is receiving in return technical help for its satellite program from the Russians. Yoo described that “while the October launch date has been postponed, final preparations, such as inspections of the engine and launch device, are in full swing.”
He concluded, “It appears that North Korea received technical advice from Russia, so we are expecting a higher rate of success” – related to its space program, rocket launches, and satellites.
The two countries, both under Washington sanctions, share a tiny border in the far east, and prior reports have cited US officials who believe military supplies and ammo have crossed into Russia by train.
Kim’s September trip in Russia had included tours of Russian military technology plants, such as an aircraft factory in the Russian city of Komsomolsk-na-Amure. This was all after he met with President Putin in Vladivostok.
Washington has over the course of the Ukraine conflict at various points accused North Korea of supplying the Russian military with additional artillery ammo. US intelligence has in the recent past alleged that train shipments between the two countries included covert ammo supplies, but something which has not been proven.
Both have been labeled by Western allies as a ‘pariah’ nations, something which has also served to bring the two closer, even to the level of unprecedented military cooperation.