White House Accuses North Korea of Covertly Sending Weapons to Russia

The Biden admin. stated on Wednesday that Pyongyang has covertly shipped a significant number of artillery shells to aid the Russian war effort in Ukraine. A statement from National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby claimed that the resources have been sent through indirect routes

White House Accuses North Korea of Covertly Sending Weapons to Russia
Image credit: Reuters [via PBS NewsHour]

Facts

  • The Biden admin. stated on Wednesday that Pyongyang has covertly shipped a significant number of artillery shells to aid the Russian war effort in Ukraine. A statement from National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby claimed that the resources have been sent through indirect routes, including via North Africa and the Middle East.
  • Kirby added that it was unknown if the artillery munitions had already reached Russia, but stressed that this shipment wouldn't alter the course of the war.
  • The accusation comes around two months after the US intelligence community claimed that Russia was purchasing millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea for use on the battlefield.
  • Kirby didn't provide any details on how Russia was paying for the artillery shells, how many shells were being shipped, or on what evidence the US had that Pyongyang was sending weapons to Moscow.
  • While UN resolutions ban North Korean from exporting to and importing from other countries, the nation's ties with Russia have deepened since the West has distanced itself from the Kremlin over the invasion of Ukraine. In July, Pyongyang recognized the independence of the Russia-backed territories of Donetsk and Luhansk.
  • Addressing earlier claims that it was supporting Moscow's war effort, Pyongyang denied it was exporting arms to Russia but argued that it had a "lawful right" to do so.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CNN, New York Post, PBS NewsHour, and NK News.

Narratives

  • Republican narrative, as provided by Fox News. The Biden administration's failed domestic and international policy has pushed North Korea and Russia into an alliance that now threatens the security of the US. Despite the risks to America, Biden has promoted war games that could lead to unintended and undesirable confrontation on the world stage.
  • Democratic narrative, as provided by Business Insider. The fact that Pyongyang is providing weapons to aid Russia's war effort in Ukraine demonstrates the success of US sanctions in isolating and undermining Moscow. As Russian forces falter, the Kremlin is resorting to the support of other weak pariah states, such as North Korea, to try and plug gaps in munitions supplies.

Predictions