The popular Hong Kong newspaper Oriental Daily recently reported that, according to newly declassified U.S. intelligence, the Russian Defense Ministry has purchased millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea, a move that shows that global sanctions have severely restricted Russian supply chains and forced Russia to turn to “excluded countries” for military supplies. According to British media, Russia only received the first batch of drones made in Iran very recently. Apparently, the U.S-led sanctions and export controls are hurting Russia’s ability to acquire military supplies. No details were provided about the North Korean deal on exact weapons, timing or size of the shipment. The transaction could not be independently verified at this time. Russia is expected to try to buy more North Korean arms in the future. North Korea has been seeking closer ties with Russia as European and Western countries have pulled out. North Korea even hinted at sending construction workers to help rebuild Russian-occupied territory in eastern Ukraine. North Korea’s ambassador to Moscow recently met with envoys from Ukraine’s Donbas region, two Russian-backed separatist territories, and expressed optimism about cooperation in the “field of labor migration.” North Korea is the only country other than Russia and Syria to recognize the self-proclaimed republics of Luhansk and Donetsk.
Source: Oriental Daily, September 6, 2022