North Korea denies arms deals with Russia amid reports of ammo supplies by train
A North Korean train has been spotted crossing the Russian border, evidenced by satellite images (Photo:Planet Labs PBC/Handout via Reuters)
Pyongyang is not sending weapons to Russia amid media reports and satellite images of trains that can transport ammunition being spotted heading west, a North Korean defense ministry official told state media, Reuters reported on Nov. 8.
He said claims about the supply of ammunition by railway were rumors, and said that Pyongyang "has never had arms dealings with Russia" and "has no plan to do so in the future."
North Korea also accused the United States of trying to "tarnish the image of North Korea in the international arena", referring to Washington's preparation of sanctions against Pyongyang.
U.S. news channel CNN reported on Nov. 2 that the United States had accused North Korea of secretly supplying Russia with a significant number of artillery shells for use in its war against Ukraine.
Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder announced that Russia was now trying to source ammunition from countries such as Iran and North Korea. The State Department confirmed that Pyongyang was secretly transferring ammunition to Moscow: Washington is preparing sanctions and promises to consider ways to thwart North Korea’s actions, he said.
Later, satellite images appeared showing that a train from North Korea had crossed the border with Russia a day after the U.S. State Department confirmed that Pyongyang was secretly transferring ammunition to Russia.
According to the 38North think tank, a train was detected on the only land link between North Korea and Russia on Nov. 4. Pyongyang had closed this route, as well as its borders, in February 2020 due to the pandemic. The two states agreed to resume railway connection in September 2022.
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