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North Korea Denies Supplying Missiles to Russia in Ukraine War

By Vusala Abbasova January 14, 2024

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The statement from North Korea follows criticisms from various nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine, condemning alleged transfers of ballistic missiles between North Korea and Russia, seen as a violation of UN sanctions.

North Korea has rejected the allegations that Russia used North Korean missiles in the war with Ukraine, labeling the accusations as groundless.

In an official statement by Kim Song, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations, blame was shifted to the United States for the ongoing conflict, with claims that the Ukrainian situation was created by the confrontation policy of the U.S. to infringe upon the security interests of Russia and push forward the advance of NATO to the East.

“The US pulled up the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), which has nothing to do with the discussion of agenda items,” Pyongyang’s state media KCNA quoted the ambassador as saying on Friday. “This is the vivid reflection of their plight in the tight corner and only reveals its insufficient might and means in the strategic confrontation with Russia.”

This response from North Korea follows criticisms from various nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine, condemning alleged transfers of ballistic missiles between North Korea and Russia, seen as a violation of UN sanctions. In a joint statement on Wednesday, the foreign ministers of around 47 nations, including Argentina, Australia, Guatemala, Japan, South Korea, along with Josep Borrell, who heads EU foreign policy, and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, strongly denounced the reported arms exchanges, asserting that these weapons were employed against Ukraine on December 30 and January 2.

In reaction to these accusations, the United States imposed sanctions on three Russian entities and an individual involved in the transfer and testing of North Korean ballistic missiles intended for use by Russia against Ukraine. Blinken argued that North Korea’s contribution to Russia’s aggression exacerbates the suffering of the Ukrainian people and undermines global nonproliferation efforts.

The alleged arms procurement and supply dealings between Pyongyang and Moscow violate multiple UNSC resolutions implemented since 2006 in response to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

When questioned about the weapons transfers, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refrained from commenting. During a UN Security Council session on maintaining peace in Ukraine on Friday, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya dismissed the accusations, suggesting that the U.S. was disseminating incorrect information.

The intensification of the Russia-Ukraine war occurred on December 30 when Russia deployed missiles and drones targeting the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. Russia accused Kyiv of conducting a lethal air assault just over the border on nearby Belgorod. Subsequently, on January 2, devastating strikes on residential structures in Ukraine led to numerous casualties. Aerial attacks inflicted injuries on a significant number of individuals, prompting Kyiv to urgently request accelerated shipments of Western weapons. The Ukrainian rescue service documented five fatalities and a minimum of 127 injuries resulting from missile and drone attacks on both Kyiv and Kharkiv.