Artillery types

North Korea secretly sends artillery shells to Russia: White House

  • North Korea secretly sends ‘significant’ amount of artillery shells to Russia, US says.
  • Shipments are disguised to look like they are going to the Middle East and North Africa.
  • John Kirby of the National Security Council said it would not change the tide of the war in Ukraine.

North Korea is secretly sending a “significant” amount of artillery shells to Russia, the White House said Wednesday, though it is unlikely to significantly improve Moscow’s war efforts in Ukraine.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said North Korea was trying to conceal the shipments and give the impression that the deliveries were destined for countries in North Africa or the Middle East, the Associated Press, CNNand Policy reported.

“Our information indicates that the DPRK is secretly supplying the Russian war in Ukraine with a significant number of artillery shells, while masking the true destination of the arms deliveries by trying to give the impression that they are being sent to countries in the Middle East or North Africa,” Kirby reported on CNN.

It was not immediately clear how the Biden administration obtained the intelligence, or how much ordnance was being sent. The Associated Press reported which Kirby said the United States would monitor to see if the shipments were received by Moscow and stressed that the munitions would not change the course of the eight-month war.

The White House did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

US officials said in early September, Russia had approached North Korea for talks about military assistance, but declined to say whether there had been a monetary transaction. At the time, the White House and the Pentagon said the move indicated Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s desperation and that his war efforts in Ukraine were collapsing.

During a Tuesday briefing, Pentagon Air Force press secretary Brig. General Pat Ryder told reporters that Russia had tried and was continuing to seek munitions from North Korea, which Pyongyang had previously denied.

North Korea is not the only country that Russia has asked for help throughout its unprovoked war in Ukraine. Iran has sent various types of drones to Moscow, including explosive suicide systems like the Shahed-136which the Russian forces used to terrorize Ukrainians in towns far from the front lines.

The State Department said last month that Russian officials have visited Iran to receive training in how to use the weapons, and more recently, Iranian military personnel traveled to occupied Crimea to help Putin’s troops use drones on the battlefield in Ukraine.

Recent efforts to secure arms and ammunition from North Korea and Iran come as Russian forces face a decrease in supply long-range precision ammunition.

“I think that speaks to the state of Russia’s ammunition capability. We’ve said before that we assess that they are – they continue to experience ammunition supply shortages, especially guided munitions” , Ryder said of Moscow’s search for weapons. overseas during the Pentagon briefing on Tuesday.

“It also indicates where they are looking for munitions in countries like North Korea and Iran, which says a lot about the type of society they maintain and their current situation in the world in terms of isolation” , he added.