Sep 6, 2022 - World

Russia buying North Korean rockets and artillery, U.S. intelligence says

Kim Jong-un

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Photo: API/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Russia's Ministry of Defense is buying millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea to aid its war in Ukraine, according to recently downgraded intelligence, a U.S. official confirmed to Axios on Tuesday.

Why it matters: "This purchase indicates that the Russian military continues to suffer from severe supply shortages in Ukraine, due in part to export controls and sanctions," the U.S. official said.

The big picture: The official added that the U.S. expects Russia to continue trying to purchase "additional North Korean military equipment going forward." The findings were first reported by the New York Times.

  • Russia has increasingly turned to other adversaries of the U.S. — namely China and Iran — since its invasion of Ukraine. It recently received an initial shipment of drones from Iran to use in Ukraine.
  • North Korea has expressed willingness to dispatch teams of laborers to help rebuild parts of eastern Ukraine held by Russia, AP reported.
  • Both the export of weapons and the sending of construction workers could see North Korea run afoul of U.N. resolutions, per AP.
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