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North Korea denies accusation that it supplied weapons for Russia

US denounces China, Russia for ‘shirking’ responsibilities as UNSC members in backing Pyongyang  

By Jo He-rim

Published : Nov. 8, 2022 - 15:32

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Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un shake hands during their meeting in Vladivostok, Russia on April 25, 2019. North Korea on Tuesday accused the United States of cooking up a Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un shake hands during their meeting in Vladivostok, Russia on April 25, 2019. North Korea on Tuesday accused the United States of cooking up a "plot-breeding story" on its alleged arms transfer to Russia, arguing it has never sent artillery shells to Moscow.(AP-Yonhap)

North Korea denied accusation of supplying weapons or ammunition to Russia, saying that it also does not have such plans in the future, while accusing the US of attempting to tarnish its reputation.

Pyongyang’s state-operated Korean Central News Agency on Tuesday revealed a statement issued by a vice director of the Military Foreign Affairs of the Ministry of National Defense to denounce the US for spreading “groundless” rumors to tarnish its reputation.

"We regard such moves of the US as part of its hostile attempt to tarnish the image of the DPRK in the international arena by invoking the illegal 'sanctions resolution' of the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) against the DPRK," the official said, referring to the North by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"We once again make clear that we have never had 'arms dealings' with Russia and that we have no plan to do so in the future," the official added in the statement. The name of the official was not revealed.

Pyongyang's statement comes after the White House said that North Korea is covertly supplying Russia with "significant" number of artillery shells to be used in the war with Ukraine.

Last week, White House National Security spokesperson John Kirby said North Korea was funneling the weapons via countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

"Our indications are that the DPRK is covertly supplying and we are going to monitor to see whether the shipments are received," Kirby had said.

Russia also denied the allegation and said the suspicion raised by the US is completely false.

Russian Ambassador to North Korea Aleksandr Matsegora told Radio Free Asia that Russia has not received any weapons or ammunition from North Korea, and it also does not plan to do so.

"North Korea and we have both rejected the US' claim is false, but it does not matter," Matsegora said in the interview with RFA, and added that it is the US repeating its false claim.

On Monday, US time, the US State Department also denounced Russia and China for "consistently shirking" their obligation as members of the United Nations Security Council, to support North Korea's missile provocations.

"The fact is that we have a slew of sanctions imposed against the DPRK," US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price told a daily press briefing, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

“There are a series of UN Security Council resolutions, with costs associated with them and measures associated with them, and we’ve called on all UN member-states, but especially members of the Security Council that have a solemn obligation to uphold the principles of the UN Charter, the principles of the UN system, the tenets of the international order."

“Unfortunately, there are two members of the Security Council (Russia and China), who have consistently shirked their obligations, that have stood in the way of the ability of the international community to impose additional costs, at least through this venue, on the DPRK for its continued and dangerous and destabilizing provocations that it has mounted in recent weeks and in recent months."

The call from State Department press secretary Ned Price came after Moscow and Beijing blocked US-led efforts to punish North Korea for its recent provocations, which include a launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile and over dozens of short-and intermediate-rage ballistic missiles.