Russia looking to ‘starving’ N. Korea for ammunition in exchange for food, claims US


Vladimir Putin led Russia is likely seeking more ammunition from Kim Jong Un led North Korea in exchange for food aid, White House national security spokesman John Kirby has said. Notably, North Korea has been facing a sever crisis of food in the country. 

“We remain concerned that North Korea will provide further support to Russia’s military operations against Ukraine,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby said.

“And we have new information that Russia is actively seeking to acquire additional munitions from North Korea.”

Kirby’s comments came after the United States imposed sanctions on a Slovakian man for trying to arrange the sale of more than two dozen types of North Korean weapons and munitions to Russia to help Moscow replace military equipment lost in its war with Ukraine.

“We also understand that Russia is seeking to send a delegation in North Korea and that Russia is offering North Korea food in exchange for munitions,” Kirby said.

Satellite imagery from South Korean authorities shows that the North produced 180,000 tonnes less food in 2022 than in 2021.

In June, the WFP raised concerns that extreme weather conditions like drought and flooding could reduce production of both winter and spring crops. State media also reported late last year that the country was experiencing its “second worst” drought on record, BBC reported. 

Any arms deal between North Korea and Russia would violate a series of UN Security Council resolutions, he said.

Kirby also noted North Korea’s recent statements that they will not provide or sell arms to Russia. “We are continuing to monitor this closely,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin on Friday ruled out a truce in Ukraine despite Moscow-allied Belarus proposing to start talks without preconditions.

“Nothing is changing in the context of Ukraine,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “The special military operation is continuing, since this is the only way to achieve the goals that our country has today.”

Lukashenko backs Russian nuclear arms

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Friday that Russian tactical nuclear weapons set to be deployed in his country would protect it from Western threats, alleging that there were plans to invade Belarus from neighbouring Poland.

“Take my word for it, I have never deceived you. They are preparing to invade Belarus, to destroy our country,” Lukashenko said in an annual address to lawmakers and government officials.

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