North Korea has supplied weapons to the mercenaries of Russia’s Wagner Group private military company, White House National Security spokesman John Kirby said on Dec. 22, as reported by Reuters.
“We can confirm that North Korea has completed an initial arms delivery to Wagner, which paid for that equipment,” said Kirby.
“Last month, North Korea delivered infantry rockets and missiles into Russia for use by Wagner.”
The United States believes that the amount of weapons provided by North Korea won’t change the dynamics of the war in Ukraine, but notes that “more military equipment was expected to be delivered by Pyongyang.”
U.S. officials plan to raise the issue at the UN Security Council, since the supply of weapons from the DPRK directly violates Security Council resolutions, Reuters reported. Washington is also going to introduce new sanctions against Wagner PMC in the coming weeks.
Kirby added that Putin’s oligarch and owner of Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, spends more than $100 million a month to finance the operations of Wagner mercenaries. According to U.S. estimates, 50,000 PMC mercenaries are stationed in Ukraine, 10,000 of which are contracted fighters, while the rest are prisoners recruited from Russian penitentiary facilities.
On Nov. 2, CNN reported that the United States accused North Korea of secretly supplying Russia with a significant amount of artillery shells for the war against Ukraine. North Korea denies the allegations.
On Nov. 1, the Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder said that Russia is now trying to source ammunition from countries such as Iran and North Korea. U.S. State Department confirmed that Pyongyang is secretly transferring ammunition to Moscow.