Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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    North korea’s extensive arms transfers to russia prompt global concern

    North Korea's Extensive Arms Transfers to Russia Raise Global Concerns

    Seoul, South Korea:In a startling revelation, South Korea’s defense minister, Shin Won-sik, disclosed on Tuesday that North Korea has dispatched approximately 6,700 containers loaded with millions of munitions to Russia since July. This report underscores the continuation of arms transfers, raising concerns about the escalating conflict in Ukraine.

    Minister Shin, in a briefing to local media on Monday, revealed that the containers might contain over 3 million 152 mm artillery shells or 500,000 122 mm rounds. He emphasized the possibility of a mix of the two types, indicating that several million shells have been sent to Russia by North Korea.

    Shin stated that despite hundreds of North Korean munitions factories operating at only 30% capacity due to resource and electricity shortages, those producing artillery shells for Russia are operating “at full swing.” However, he did not provide specific details on the information source.

    The accusations of arms trading between Pyongyang and Moscow have been denounced by Seoul and Washington, both accusing North Korea of supplying weapons to Russia for use against Ukraine. Despite these accusations, both countries have denied the allegations while simultaneously pledging to strengthen military cooperation.

    A recent fact sheet released by the US State Department on Friday asserted that North Korea has delivered over 10,000 containers of munitions or related materials to Russia since September. In return, North Korea has received approximately 9,000 containers, primarily containing food supplies. Minister Shin highlighted that this exchange has played a role in stabilizing prices in North Korea.

    While the official numbers have not been confirmed by Seoul’s defense ministry, an official quoted Minister Shin, stating that Russia has sent nearly 30% more containers to North Korea since July than North Korea has shipped. This raises concerns about the scale and impact of the arms trade between the two nations.

    Minister Shin also mentioned the potential for North Korea to launch another satellite as early as next month, with Moscow providing technical aid. Furthermore, Pyongyang has reportedly sought assistance from Russia in aircraft and ground mobility equipment technology.

    The extent of Russian technology transfers remains uncertain, but Minister Shin emphasized that the more Russia relies on North Korean artillery shells, the greater the potential for tech nology transfer. This revelation adds complexity to the geopolitical dynamics surrounding the conflict in Ukraine and raises questions about the role of North Korea in supporting Russia’s military efforts.

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