North Korean munitions ‘almost certain’ to be in Russian stockpiles

North Korean munitions are in Russian munitions depots, the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) said in an October 26 intelligence briefing, with “almost certain” confidence. This follows a joint statement by the US, Japan and South Korea (ROK) on October 25, condemning the transfer of military equipment and ammunition for use against Ukraine.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Russia to meet President Vladimir Putin on September 12, unexpectedly extending his visit by several days in an effort that analysts believe was to negotiate arms and technology transfers between the two. countries. The US-Japan-ROK Joint Statement as of yesterday confirms that North Korea and Russia have made a deal to achieve this.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine it was meant to be completed quickly, but has turned into a long-running campaign without a clear and achievable end point. While the international arms supply to Ukraine has been generous, Russia has been left with few allies and cut off from a vast network of supply chains that facilitate the production of military equipment.

Russia’s near-constant artillery bombardment and difficulties with its industrial-military base have led it to use old equipment and seek supplies of munitions and drones from Iran and dual-use military technology from China.

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From GlobalData

While North Korea’s military lacks modern technological flourishes, with the overall effectiveness and functionality of some equipment “in doubt,” according to the IISS 2023 military balance report, the nation has a huge stockpile of artillery shells that it has amassed over 70 years of hostilities in the area. In return for its support to Russia, North Korea hopes to receive advanced technical support for its military programs.

The joint statement issued yesterday does not confirm whether this involves the transfer of nuclear or ballistic missile technology, but expresses deep concern that this could happen. North Korea has a long-standing ambition to advance its nuclear capability and has engaged in increased missile testing activity in recent years.

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