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US and South Korea agree to crack down on arms transfers between North Korea and Russia

US and South Korea agree to crack down on arms transfers between North Korea and Russia Photo: Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The United States and South Korea discussed military cooperation between the DPRK and Russia. The countries agreed to strictly combat the transfer of North Korean weapons to Russia, according to Yonhap.

South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-sik held telephone talks with Pentagon Chief Lloyd Austin. They discussed North Korea's supply of ammunition and missiles to Russia to replenish its weapons stockpile for use in Ukraine.

South Korean Defense Ministry says in a statement they shared the concern that the illegal arms transfers between Russia and North Korea pose a serious threat not only to the Korean Peninsula but also to global peace and stability, and pledged to respond decisively in coordination with the international community.

The Defense Ministers also condemned North Korea's recent series of missile tests and pledged to maintain a unified defense to deter Pyongyang's provocations.

Earlier, South Korea's Defense Minister said that the DPRK had sent 6,700 containers to Russia, which could contain more than 3 million 152-millimeter shells and 500,000 122-millimeter shells.

DPRK transfers weapons to Russia

In December 2023, the White House announced that Russia had purchased ballistic missiles from North Korea. In early January, it was reported that the Russian occupiers had hit Kharkiv with North Korean missiles.

In an interview with RBC-Ukraine, Vadym Skibitskyi, a representative of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine, said that North Korea had been actively supplying Russia with ammunition throughout the fall. According to intelligence estimates, the Russian army could have received about a million shells from the DPRK.

Ukraine's Prosecutor General Andrii Kostin says that Russians have already used at least 24 North Korean-made ballistic missiles to fire at Ukraine.