North Korea provided Russia with ballistic missiles, launchers: White House

WASHINGTON: North Korea recently provided Russia with ballistic missiles and launchers for use in Moscow’s war against Ukraine, some of which Russia has fired into Ukraine, the White House said on Thursday (Jan 4), citing newly declassified intelligence.

National security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters the United States will raise the development with the United Nations Security Council.

Kirby called North Korea’s arms transfer to Russia a “significant and concerning escalation” and said the United States would impose additional sanctions against those facilitating the arms deals.

“Our information indicates that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea recently provided Russia with ballistic missile launchers and several ballistic missiles,” said Kirby, using the official name of North Korea.

In recent days, he said, “Russian forces launched at least one of these North Korean ballistic missiles into Ukraine,” adding that it appeared to have landed in an open field.

Kirby said Iran has not delivered close-range ballistic missiles to Russia, but Washington believes Russia intends to purchase missile systems from Iran.

Moscow has been heavily reliant on Iran for drones and other weaponry for use against Ukraine.

Russia recently launched some of its most intense strikes on Ukraine since the war began almost two years ago. Kyiv on Tuesday said that Russia had launched well over 300 attack drones and missiles of various kinds at cities across Ukraine since Friday. 

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