The US Accuses North Korea of selling weapons to Russia

On Thursday, February 23rd, the United Nations held a Security Council meeting during which the United States made several accusations. These accusations were made primarily against North Korea. As Russia and China were also directly involved, they were also implicated. North Korea is accused of selling artillery supplies to Russia, aiding the war against Ukraine, in secret.

North Korea also blocked this meeting from their webcast attempting to cover up their actions. Their shipments are thought to be hidden by a façade in which these shipments appear to be shipped to North Africa and Middle Eastern countries. News reports show that millions of rockets and artillery shells are being sold to Russia by North Korea. These weapons are then used in war efforts against Ukraine. Previously in September, North Korea had denied allegations on their intentions selling military weaponry to Russia. However, details and evidence supporting these shipments of weaponry have not been disclosed.  John Kirby, The National Security Council Coordinator for strategic communications announced that they would “continue to monitor” the shipments. Russia is believed to turn to countries like North Korea as the war continues and their supplies diminish. This is a direct causation of the duration of the war and sanctions placed against Russia. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines supports this claim saying, “export controls are forcing Russia to turn to countries like Iran and North Korea for supplies.”  The selling and buying of these weapons would be a direct violation to UN policies, thus it is considered an international threat by many. During the Security Council meeting, U.S. Ambassador Linda-Thomas Greenfield also spoke out against this issue. According to the UN meeting, China and Russia also have shielded North Korea from UN action. Greenfield read several statements during her meeting indicating countries such as France, Ecuador, Japan, Switzerland, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and more condemned launches encouraged by North Korea. These countries reached an agreement in saying that global peace and stability is threatened by North Korea’s current actions. Following several nuclear launches by North Korea, sanctions have been placed against them attempting to limit this power.

In response to these events, the Security Council urges North Korea to cease deliveries to Russia.  According to the Associated Press, “The Biden administration has previously declassified intelligence to present evidence that Iran sold hundreds of attack drones over the summer and that the Wagner Group, a private Russian military company, has taken delivery of arms from North Korea to help bolster its forces as they fight alongside Russian troops in Ukraine.  The administration has said it has sought to disseminate the intelligence findings so allies and the public remain clear-eyed about Moscow’s intent and so Russian president Vladimir Putin thinks twice about his actions.”

These accusations have been raised within the UN and allied countries to prevent further military supplies from aiding Russia. Though these deliveries have raised suspicions and tension in several nations, their impact is uncertain. The UN Security Council closed by saying that weaponry delivered might “not have changed battlefield dynamics in Ukraine.”  The situation remains tense and adds to the already strained relationship and distrust between the US, China, and Russia.