North Korea may provide Russia with weapons in exchange for unblocking frozen assets — NYT
U.S. intelligence officials indicate that Russia's recent release of frozen North Korean assets and potential assistance in accessing international banking networks might be linked to an arms deal between the two nations
The New York Times writes about it.
Russia has reportedly unfrozen $9 million of $30 million in North Korean assets, possibly aiding its isolated ally. US intelligence suggests North Korea provided ballistic missiles to Russia, seeking military hardware in return. A British think tank analysis indicates a shipment of up to 2.5 million rounds of ammunition.
A North Korean front company has allegedly opened an account in South Ossetia, connected to Russia. This move may help North Korea bypass UN sanctions restricting banking interactions, and fostering economic ties with countries like Turkey and South Africa.
According to the article, the strengthened alliance between Russia and North Korea has led to diplomatic exchanges, including meetings between leaders. Experts note that while North Korea may desire advanced military hardware, Russia might be cautious due to UN sanctions.
Observers suggest Russia would likely tread carefully to avoid violating sanctions explicitly. They may use deniable means to sidestep restrictions, emphasizing that private banks are involved.
Beyond banking, experts speculate that Russia and North Korea could engage in barter deals, exchanging goods like grain and agricultural technology for weapons.
The article states that the arms transfer has garnered attention globally and diplomatic benefits from Moscow for North Korea. The perceived support from Russia strengthens North Korea's position on the international stage.
In conclusion, the evolving financial and diplomatic ties between Russia and North Korea raise concerns about the broader implications of this growing alliance.