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U.S. army expresses concern over Russian use of North Korean weapons in Ukraine

7 April, 2024 Sunday
15:22

Russia's use of North Korean missiles in attacks on Ukraine gives North Korea a chance to test its weapons in real combat situations, potentially enabling their improvement

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General Charles A. Flynn, commander of the United States Army Pacific, said this, Bloomberg reports.

Flynn remarked, "I don’t believe that in my recent memory that the North Korean military has had a battlefield laboratory quite like the Russians are affording them to have in Ukraine."

This scenario presents North Korea with the chance to gather valuable information on technical aspects, operational procedures, and the performance of the munitions. The US intends to closely monitor the situation as it unfolds.

Flynn highlighted a major concern that North Korea could acquire insights into the performance characteristics of its weapons in combat, which they wouldn't have access to in the absence of the war.

Additionally, Flynn stated that the US will deploy medium-range missile systems in the Indo-Pacific region soon. This move could potentially provoke China, which had cautioned in 2019 that US allies in the region might face countermeasures if they agreed to host US medium-range missiles.

The US, along with South Korea and other nations, has accused North Korea of supplying Russia with the latest ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. These missiles are designed to be easily concealed, rapidly deployed, and challenging to intercept. According to weapons experts, satellite imagery provided by the US indicates that the missiles in question are likely the Hwasong-11, a type of short-range ballistic missile known for its accuracy.

Furthermore, the allies have accused North Korea of supplying Russia with a significant quantity of ammunition compatible with Soviet-era weaponry. Despite denials from Moscow and Pyongyang, numerous satellite photos released by research organizations and the US government depict the flow of weapons from North Korea to Russia and onward to ammunition depots near the Ukrainian border.

In exchange for weapons believed to be valued in the billions of dollars, Russia is reportedly providing North Korea with food, raw materials, and components for weapons production, according to South Korean officials. This arrangement has enabled North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to enhance food security while continuing to advance his nation's weapons programs.

Flynn expressed concern over North Korea's ongoing ballistic missile tests, characterizing them as troubling and destabilizing.

  • On April 2, the South Korean government imposed sanctions on two Russian vessels involved in transporting military cargo to North Korea, as well as on entities and individuals implicated in financing North Korea's nuclear and missile development. 
  • Additionally, South Korea detained an unregistered cargo ship suspected of violating UN sanctions against North Korea, allegedly bound for Russia.
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