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North Korea denies sending arms to Russia amid Ukraine war

SEOUL, South Korea North Korea says it hasnt exported any weapons to Russia duringthe war in Ukraineand contains no plans to take action, and said U.S.intelligence reports of weapons transferswere an effort to tarnish North Koreas image.

In circumstances media report Thursday, an unnamed North Korean defense official told the U.S. to avoid making reckless remarks also to keep its mouth shut. Biden administration officials earlier this month confirmed a declassified U.S. intelligence assessment that Russia was along the way of buying arms from North Korea, including millions ofartillery shells and rockets,as Moscow attempts to help ease severe supply shortages in Ukraine worsened by U.S.-led export controls and sanctions.

The North Korean statement came weeks after Moscow described the U.S. intelligence finding as fake.

North Korean arms exports to Russia would violate US resolutions banning the united states from importing or exporting weapons.

The North Korean official stressed that Pyongyang hasn’t recognized the unlawful U.N. Security Council sanctions contrary to the country cooked up by the U.S. and its own vassal forces. The state said the export and import of military equipment is really a lawful right peculiar to a sovereign state, in accordance with an English translation of the statement published by the Norths official Korean Central News Agency.

But we take this possibility to make clear a very important factor. We’ve never exported weapons or ammunition to Russia before and we’ll not intend to export them, said the state, who was referred to as a vice director general of the National Defense Ministrys general equipment bureau.

It isn’t sure from where in fact the rumor originated that your U.S. is spreading, nonetheless it is targeted at tarnishing the DPRKs image, the state said, discussing the countrys formal name, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.

Facing sanctions and export controls, Russia in August bought Iranian-made drones that U.S. officials said had technical problems. Experts say North Korea, if willing, could turn into a major way to obtain small arms, artillery along with other ammunition for Russia, taking into consideration the compatibility of these defense systems predicated on Soviet roots.

North Korea has sought to tighten relations with Russia even while the majority of Europe and the West has pulled away, blaming the U.S. for the crisis and decrying the Wests hegemonic policy as justifying military action by Russia in Ukraine to safeguard itself.

North Korea also offers used the war as a window to accelerate its arms development, testing a large number of weapons including its first long-range missiles since 2017, exploiting a divide in the U.N. Security Council, where Russia and China have blocked U.S. attempts to tighten sanctions on Pyongyang.

The North Korean government has alsohinted it really is interestedin sending construction industry workers to greatly help rebuild pro-Russia breakaway regions in Ukraines east. In July, North Korea became the only real nation apart from Russia and Syria torecognize the independenceof the territories, Donetsk and Luhansk.

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