N. Korea slams US for raising alleged arms supply to Russia

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Tuesday accused america of cooking up a “plot-breeding story” on its alleged arms switch to Russia, arguing it has by no means despatched artillery shells to Moscow.

Final week, Nationwide Safety Council spokesperson John Kirby accused North Korea of covertly supplying a “important quantity” of the ammunitions to Russia. He mentioned america believes North Korea was making an attempt to obscure the switch route by making it seem the weapons have been being despatched to international locations within the Center East or North Africa.

“We regard such strikes of the U.S. as a part of its hostile try and tarnish the picture of (North Korea) within the worldwide enviornment,” an unidentified vice director on the ministry’s army international affairs workplace mentioned in a press release carried by state media.

“We as soon as once more clarify that we’ve by no means had ‘arms dealings’ with Russia and that we’ve no plan to take action sooner or later,” the vice director mentioned.

In September, U.S. officers confirmed a newly downgraded U.S. intelligence discovering that Russia was within the course of of buying thousands and thousands of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea. North Korea later dismissed that report, calling on Washington to cease making “reckless remarks” and to “hold its mouth shut.”

On Nov. 2, Kirby mentioned the U.S. has “an thought” of which nation or international locations the North might funnel the weapons by means of however wouldn’t specify. He mentioned the North Korean shipments are “not going to vary the course of the conflict,” citing Western efforts to resupply the Ukrainian army.

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Slapped by worldwide sanctions and export controls, Russia in August purchased Iranian-made drones that U.S. officers mentioned had technical issues. For Russia, consultants say North Korea is probably going one other good possibility for its ammunitions provide, as a result of the North retains a major stockpile of shells, lots of them copies of Soviet-era ones.

At the same time as most of Europe and the West has pulled away, North Korea has pushed to spice up relations with Russia, blaming the U.S. for the disaster and decrying the West’s “hegemonic coverage” as justifying army motion by Russia in Ukraine to guard itself. In July, North Korea grew to become the one nation except for Russia and Syria to acknowledge the Donetsk and Luhansk territories as impartial.

The North Korean authorities has additionally hinted it’s inquisitive about sending development staff to assist rebuild pro-Russia breakaway areas in Ukraine’s east.

North Korea’s attainable arms provide to Russia can be a violation of U.N. resolutions that ban the North from buying and selling weapons with different international locations. But it surely’s unlikely for North Korea to obtain recent sanctions for that due to a division on the U.N. Safety Council over America’s confrontations with Russia concerning its conflict in Ukraine and its separate strategic competitions with China.

Earlier this 12 months, Russia and China already vetoed a U.S.-led try and toughen sanctions on North Korea over its sequence of ballistic missile assessments which are banned by a number of U.N. Safety Council resolutions.

Some observers say North Korea has additionally been utilizing the Russian aggression in Ukraine as a window to ramp up weapons testing exercise and dial up strain on america and South Korea. Final week, the North test-fired dozens of missiles in response to large-scale U.S.-South Korea aerial drills that Pyongyang views as a rehearsal for a possible invasion.

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In a separate assertion revealed Tuesday by state media, a senior North Korean diplomat criticized U.N. Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres’ current condemnation of North Korea’s missile launch barrage, calling him a “mouthpiece” of the U.S. authorities.

“The U.N. secretary basic is echoing what the White Home and the State Division say as if he have been their mouthpiece, which is deplorable,” mentioned Kim Son Gyong, vice minister for worldwide organizations on the North Korean Overseas Ministry.

Kim mentioned that Guterres’ “unfair and prejudiced habits” has contributed to the worsening tensions within the area.


Comply with AP’s protection of the Asia-Pacific area at https://apnews.com/hub/asia-pacific