Is North Korea selling weapons, ammunition to Russia?

PYONGYANG, 8 Nov 2022:

North Korea has never exported weapons or ammunition to Russia and has no plans to do so, authorities said in a text published by state media today.

The remarks come after US intelligence services said Russia may be in the process of buying millions of rockets and artillery shells from Pyongyang – which would violate multiple UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea.

“Recently, the US is persistently spreading a groundless ‘rumour of arms dealings’ between the DPRK (North Korea) and Russia in a bid to make it a fait accompli at any cost,” the Ministry of National Defence said in a statement published by KCNA.

It viewed the moves by Washington as a “hostile attempt to tarnish the image of the DPRK in the international arena by invoking the illegal ‘sanctions resolution'” of the United Nations Security Council against Pyongyang.

“We once again make clear that we have never had ‘arms dealings’ with Russia and that we have no plan to do so in the future.”

North Korea yesterday described the recent military drills by South Korea and the US, to which it responded by launching some 30 missiles last week, as “intolerable and unpardonable,” and assured that if these actions continue, the army will respond “more thoroughly and mercilessly.”

In a text from the North Korean General Staff published by KCNA, these large-scale air manoeuvres by the allies, called Vigilant Storm, were also described as “open provocation aimed at intentionally escalating the tension in the region” and a series of military operations carried out during Nov 2-5.

Tension on the peninsula is high amid repeated North Korean weapons tests, allied manoeuvres and the possibility that, as satellites indicate, Kim Jong-un’s regime is ready for its first test nuclear since 2017.