Russia seeks to buy more munitions from North Korea for the war in Ukraine as Moscow grows increasingly dependent on foreign supplies, the Associated Press (AP) reported on Aug. 3, citing U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby.
Kirby said that according to U.S. intelligence, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu presented the request last week during his visit to Pyongyang on the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice.
According to the White House, Shoigu’s pitch highlights Moscow’s growing dependence on countries like Iran or North Korea in terms of arms supplies for Russian troops in Ukraine.
“This is yet another example of how desperate Mr. Putin has become because his war machine is being affected by the sanctions and the export controls,” Kirby told journalists.
“He is going through a vast amount of inventory to try to subjugate Ukraine, and he’s reaching out to countries like North Korea, like Iran, and certainly he’s been trying to reach out to China to get support for his war machine.”
In the spring of 2023, Moscow reportedly approached Pyongyang with the offer of food supplies in exchange for weapons. North Korea has been heavily militarized since the end of the war with its Southern Korean neighbors in 1953 but suffers from chronic food shortages.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un previously expressed “full support” for Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
Russia has been also massively deploying Iranian-made Shahed kamikaze drones against Ukraine, and U.S. intelligence reported in late July that China is providing Moscow with significant supplies of drones and dual-use technology that can be utilized for military purposes.
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