White House accuses Russia of seeking weapons from North Korea to aid war in Ukraine

The White House has announced that it has obtained new evidence indicating that Russia is turning to North Korea for weapons to fuel the ongoing war in Ukraine. The deal would involve Russia providing North Korea with much-needed food and other commodities in exchange for weapons and munitions. The accusation is the latest to suggest that Russia, which is limited by sanctions and export controls, is turning to “rogue” nations to support its war efforts.

According to John Kirby, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, Russia would receive over two dozen types of weapons and munitions from North Korea under the proposed deal. Reports indicate that Russia is also seeking to send a delegation to North Korea to arrange the exchange.

Previous intelligence reports have alleged that Iran sold attack drones to Russia and that the Wagner Group, a private Russian military company, has received arms from North Korea to bolster its forces in Ukraine. The Biden administration has been publicizing these reports in an effort to raise awareness about Moscow’s intent and deter further aggressive actions by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The latest announcement comes as North Korea faces food shortages, reportedly the worst in the country’s recent history. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had previously suggested that US intelligence indicated China was considering providing arms and ammunition to Russia, but the White House has yet to see evidence of this.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has also recently announced sanctions against a Slovakian national, Ashot Mkrtychev, who allegedly attempted to facilitate arms deals between Russia and North Korea. Mkrtychev is said to have worked with North Korean officials to obtain weapons and munitions in exchange for commercial aircraft, raw materials, and commodities to be sent to North Korea.

Food Shortage in North Korea

North Korea is currently facing a severe food shortage, with reports indicating that it is the worst the country has seen in years. The situation is caused by a variety of factors, including natural disasters such as flooding and droughts, as well as the country’s economic isolation and mismanagement of resources. The COVID-19 pandemic has also played a role in exacerbating the situation, as border closures and other restrictions have led to a significant reduction in international trade and aid.

The food shortage is having a devastating impact on the North Korean population, with reports suggesting that many people are suffering from malnutrition and starvation. The government has reportedly increased its control over food distribution, and there have been reports of forced labour and other abuses in the country’s agricultural sector.

The situation has prompted international organizations such as the United Nations to call for increased humanitarian aid to North Korea, although there are concerns that aid could be diverted by the government or used as a bargaining chip in negotiations with other countries.

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