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Russia wants to trade food for weapons with North Korea, US says

The US claims that Russia is seeking weapons from North Korea in order to supply weapons to the conflict in Ukraine.

Washington believes that Moscow wants Pyongyang to receive food and other commodities as a return for its arms.

This is the latest accusation that Russia is seeking aid from “rogue” countries because it is in desperate need of weaponry.

John Kirby, White House National Security Council spokesperson, stated that Russia would be receiving more than two dozen types of weapons and ammunition from Pyongyang as part of the proposed deal.


“We also know that Russia wants to send a delegation to North Korea, and that Russia offers North Korea food in return for munitions.”

The White House previously released intelligence that showed that Iran had sold hundreds of attack drones over the summer to Russia. Additionally, the evidence shows that the Wagner Group, an exclusive Russian military company, took delivery of weapons from North Korea to bolster its forces.

Experts believe that the food situation North Korea is at its worst since Kim Jong Un’s 11 year rule. However, they maintain that they don’t see any signs of imminent famines or mass deaths.

Image Photo: AP

North Korean state media reported that Kim pledged to strengthen state control over agriculture, and to take a series of other steps to increase the production of grain.

Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, stated last month that US intelligence indicated China was looking to provide arms and ammunition for Russia. However, White House officials claim they have not seen any evidence that Beijing has actually delivered weapons.

The latest example of intelligence discoveries made public by the Biden administration during the war is Russia’s attempts to obtain weapons from North Korea.

According to the administration, it sought to communicate intelligence findings so that allies and the public are clear about Moscow’s intentions and Russian President Vladimir Putin considers his actions twice.

On Thursday, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, Treasury Department, announced sanctions against Ashot Mkrtychev (Slovakia), for allegedly trying to facilitate arms sales between Russia and North Korea.

The Treasury stated that Mr Mkrtychev had worked with North Korean officials between 2022 and 2023 to acquire more than 20 types of weapons and ammunition for Russia in return for commodities, raw materials, and commercial aircraft for North Korea.

Mr Mkrtychev teamed up with a Russian citizen in order to locate commercial aircraft that could deliver goods to North Korea.

Janet Yellen, Treasury Secretary, stated in a statement that Russia has lost more than 9,000 pieces heavy military equipment since the beginning of the war. This was partly due to multilateral sanctions, export controls, and Putin’s desperate search for replacements.”

“Schemes such as the arms deal that this person pursued show that Putin is turning towards suppliers of last resort like Iran or the DPRK.”


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