Nov 2, 2022 - World

U.S.: North Korea "covertly supplying" artillery shells to Russia for Ukraine war

Kim Jong Un, North Korea's leader,

Kim Jong Un watches an honor guard before his departure to North Korea at the railway station in Vladivostok, Russia in April 2019. Photo: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images

North Korea has been secretly supplying Russia with a "significant number" of artillery shells to support its war in Ukraine, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said at a press briefing Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Driving the news: North Korea is “trying to make it appear as though they’re being sent to countries in the Middle East or North Africa," Kirby added, per AP.

  • Kirby did not offer estimates of how much ammunition North Korea has sent, but he insisted that the shipments were “not going to change the course of the war,” because of Western efforts to aid Ukraine, Kirby added.
  • "Our indications are that the DPRK is covertly supplying, and we are going to monitor to see whether the shipments are received," Kirby said, referring to North Korea, per Reuters.

The big picture: The development comes nearly two months after U.S. intelligence indicated that Russia was buying millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea for its war in Ukraine.

  • Russia's reliance on other powers such as North Korea and Iran for supplies is indicative of the shortages it is facing in maintaining its war in Ukraine.
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