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N. Korea continues to provide ammunition to Russia in violation of UNSC sanctions: White House

John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, is seen speaking during a daily press briefing at the White House in Washington on Jan. 20, 2023 in this captured image. (Yonha
John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, is seen speaking during a daily press briefing at the White House in Washington on Jan. 20, 2023 in this captured image. (Yonha

North Korea continues to provide ammunition to Russia in support of Moscow's unprovoked war against Ukraine, a White House official said Friday, calling it a clear violation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on Pyongyang.

John Kirby, strategic communications coordinator for the National Security Council, said the U.S. has shared its intelligence on the delivery of North Korean ammunition to Russia with the UNSC Panel of Experts on North Korea sanctions.

The NSC official earlier said the North has delivered ammunition to a private Russian military company, the Wagner Group, for use in Ukraine.\

"We obviously condemn North Korea's actions and we urge North Korea to cease these deliveries to Wagner immediately," Kirby said at the top of a daily press briefing at the White House.

"As we have stated previously, the arms transfers from the DPRK are in direct violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. So today, (we are) sharing information on these violations with the Security Council's DPRK Sanctions Committee panel of experts," he added.

DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's official name.

In a rare move, the NSC also released satellite imagery of Russian railcars traveling between Russia and North Korea on Nov. 18 and Nov. 19 for what Kirby called the initial delivery of North Korean weapons to the Russian company, which has been designated by the U.S.

The captured image shows a photo released by National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby at a White House press briefing in Washington on Jan. 20, 2023 that shows a set of Russian railcars traveling between Russia and North Korea on Nov. 18-Nov. 19, 2022 for a suspected delivery of North Korean military equipment to Russia's private military company, the Wagner Group. (Yonhap)
The captured image shows a photo released by National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby at a White House press briefing in Washington on Jan. 20, 2023 that shows a set of Russian railcars traveling between Russia and North Korea on Nov. 18-Nov. 19, 2022 for a suspected delivery of North Korean military equipment to Russia's private military company, the Wagner Group. (Yonhap)

"Now while we assess that the amount of material delivered to Wagner has not changed battlefield dynamics in Ukraine, we do expect that it will continue to receive North Korean weapons systems," said Kirby.

The NSC official said the U.S. currently has no plan to pursue additional sanctions against North Korea when asked, but noted it was still an option.

"We are certainly not going to rule out the possibility for additional sanctions if that seemed fit inside the U.N., Kirby told the press briefing.

North Korea also continues to evade sanctions, Kirby noted, with the help of Russia and China.

"Not every country that should observes the sanctions regime. So they are still able to trade with countries like Russia and with China. And, obviously, that's a whole different set of problems, but they are able to skirt sanctions to continue to funnel money into their economy," said Kirby.

"But let's keep it in perspective. This is not a burgeoning economy. This is not a country that is wealthy by any stretch or is necessarily viable and flexible in the in the global economy," he added. (Yonahp

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