North Korea says it has never sold weapons to Russia and has no plan to do so, denying reports from the US Pentagon that Moscow was replenishing its stockpiles from Pyongyang.
US Pentagon officials last week reported that Russia was in the process of purchasing rockets and artillery shells from North Korea after allegedly purchasing Iranian weapons, a sign that Western sanctions were impeding Russia’s efforts in the Ukraine war.
Russia denied both reports at the time.
But on Thursday, September 22, North Korea denied doing any arms business with Russia, it’s ally.
Any arms movement between the two countries would be in violation of United Nations sanctions placed on North Korea for its nuclear weapons Programme.
In a statement carried by North Korean state media KCNA, an unnamed official at North Korea’s defence ministry said: “We have never exported weapons or ammunition to Russia before and we will not plan to export them.”
It accused the US, and other “hostile forces”, of spreading rumours to “pursue its base political and military aims”.
Russian-North Korean relations declined after the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, but have gradually picked up in recent years as Russia’s relations with the West have soured.
During the start of war in Ukraine, Kim Jong-un’s regime blamed the US for the conflict and accused the West of pursuing a “hegemonic policy” that justified Russia’s use of force.
In July, North Korea was one of the few countries that officially recognised two Russian-backed separatist regions in eastern Ukraine. In retaliation, Ukraine cut off all diplomatic ties with Pyongyang.