North Korea has denied that it has ever, or will ever, supply Russia with weapons to use in its invasion of Ukraine. The comments come following a US official’s claims that Putin was in the process of purchasing millions of rockets and artillery shells from Kim Jong-un’s North Korea.
Russia has been hit by Western sanctions which have crippled its ability to manufacture certain types of military equipment. The US has accused Moscow of turning to Iran and North Korea to bolster dwindling supplies.
However, North Korean state news outlet and mouthpiece for Kim Jong-un, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), strongly denied the claims and blamed the US for “tarnishing its image”.
Quoting an unnamed North Korean official, it said: “Recently, the U.S. and other hostile forces talked about the ‘violation of a resolution’ of the UNSC, spreading a ‘rumour of arms dealings’ between the DPRK and Russia.”
KCNA added: “We have never exported weapons or ammunition to Russia before and we will not plan to export them.”
The news would further isolate Vladimir Putin who has been ostracised on the world stage, particularly by the West. Even ally China and neutral India have raised their “concerns” about the invasion.
Tehran has also been accused by the US of supplying Russia with hundreds of drones for its war in Ukraine. Unverified photos from the frontline appear to show destroyed Iranian drones.
In other news, North Korea is believed to be preparing to launch a submarine which can fire ballistic missiles, according to a think tank.
The think tank 38 North, which monitors North Korea, cited satellite imagery of the Sinpo South Shipyard, on the east coast of the country, from Sept. 18 which revealed six barges and vessels gathered around the construction hall quay.
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However, the move has proved to be unpopular on the Russia home front. Already, 1,300 protesters against the war have reportedly been arrested in Moscow and St Petersburg since the announcement.
There have also been reports of one way flights out of Russia selling out while a Finnish border guard claimed to notice an uptick in traffic arriving from Russia overnight.
While Putin appears to be generally isolated on the world stage, declining popularity within Russia could spell disaster for the Russian President.
Ukraine continues to receive the backing of the West with UK Prime Minister Liz Truss and US President Joe Biden both renewing their support for the defensive war effort yesterday.