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Western help or a trophy? Ukraine blasts Russian positions with North Korean missiles

Western help or a trophy? Ukraine blasts Russian positions with North Korean missiles Ukrainian Armed Forces use missiles from North Korea against Russians (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Ukrainian forces have been reported to employ North Korean-manufactured munitions for Grad multiple-launch rocket systems near Bakhmut, as reported by Financial Times.

The manner in which these North Korean rockets found their way into Ukraine remains uncertain. Ukrainian military officials suppose that the munitions were captured on a vessel from a friendly nation and subsequently handed over to Ukraine as part of a military aid package.

However, Yurii Sak, an advisor to the Ukrainian Defense Minister, suggested the rockets were taken from Russian forces. “We capture their tanks, we capture their equipment and it is very possible that this is also the result of the Ukrainian army successfully conducting a military operation," he said.

The North Korean munitions being utilized by Ukraine were manufactured in the 1980s and 1990s. According to artillery experts, the Korean rockets are not considered top-of-the-line due to their high failure rate.

Previously, an Osint analyst from War Noir, noticed rockets bearing markings similar to those of North Korean origin in a photo report by Ukrainian journalists from the position of the "Magura" 47th Mechanized Brigade's rocket artillery unit on the Zaporizhzhia front.

Employment of North Korean weaponry in Russia's full-scale invasion

Earlier, it was reported that the United States possessed evidence of the Wagner Group (a Russian private military company) receiving arms from North Korea. Such arms supplies continued for some time, with several batches documented.

Analysts believe that Russia's urgent need for ammunition to wage war against Ukraine could help rescue North Korea from its impending economic crisis. Pyongyang holds substantial reserves of munitions, and the Russian military has shown particular interest in 122-mm and 152-mm projectiles, as well as 122-mm rockets for multiple rocket launchers. A few years ago, the price for 122-mm rockets was approximately $6,000 each.