North Korea denied a US intelligence report on Thursday that it had exported missiles and artillery shells to Russia, claiming the assessment was intended to tarnish North Korea’s image.
“We have never exported weapons or ammunition to Russia, and we do not intend to export them,” said an unnamed North Korean official. “It’s not sure where the rumor the US is spreading comes from, but it’s meant to corrode it” [North Korea’s] image.”
The statement identified the official as a deputy director general of North Korea’s General Bureau of Equipment within the country’s defense ministry and was published by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.
The US intelligence review, revealed earlier this month, found that the Russian Defense Ministry was in the process of purchasing millions of missiles and artillery shells from North Korea.
“We condemn the US for mindlessly spreading the rumor against the DPRK to pursue their grassroots political and military goals, and we warn the US to stop making reckless comments that lift the DPRK and shut up,” he said. the North Korean official.
The potential purchases come as Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine approaches the end of its seventh month.
The invasion faced heavy sanctions from the United States and much of Europe, hampering Moscow’s ability to obtain military supplies and other important exports.
“We don’t have any indication that the purchase actually took place, so it’s hard to say what it will look like in the end,” John Kirby, the White House national security spokesman, told reporters earlier this month.
North Korea has strengthened its relationship with Russia since its February invasion, and the official on Thursday reiterated Pyongyang’s belief that the United States and its Western allies are boiling the crisis.
North Korea has also hinted that it plans to send construction workers to the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine to help rebuild Russian-occupied territories.
A Ukrainian counter-offensive in recent days has reclaimed some of that territory and pushed Russian troops back to the border in some areas.
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