Nebenzia slams US report of arms sale from DPRK as fake
Russia's UN Ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, slams US accusations of arms sales between Russia and DPRK as fake.
Russia's UN Ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, disputed accusations made by US officials, which first appeared in the New York Times, that Russia was trying to acquire weapons from North Korea.
"I haven't heard it and I think that's another fake being circulated around," he told reporters.
The White House had claimed on Tuesday that Russia may be poised to buy "literally millions" of artillery shells and missiles from North Korea, adding to Moscow's "desperation" amid supply difficulties for the war in Ukraine.
US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel claimed in a news briefing on Tuesday that Russia "is in the process of purchasing millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea for use in Ukraine."
However, a short time later, White House National Security Spokesperson John Kirby stated that "there are no indications that that purchase has been completed and certainly no indications that those weapons are being used inside of Ukraine."
Calling it a "potential purchase," Kirby told a briefing, "Our sense is it could include literally millions of rounds, rockets and artillery shells from North Korea. That's what our information gives us - it could be on that scale."
"We don't have any indication that the purchase has actually occurred yet so it's difficult to say what it's actually going to end up looking like," Kirby added.
He said it was "just another indication of how desperate Putin's becoming ... It's an indication of how much his defense industrial establishment is suffering as a result of this war and the degree of desperation."
US officials said additional Russian purchases of North Korean military equipment were expected.
The North Korean delegation to the United Nations did not reply immediately to a request for comment.
North Korean experts claim Pyongyang is eager to collect funds through weapons sales to counter international sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs, which Russia has previously backed.
According to Vedant, the Russian acquisitions would violate United Nations sanctions that ban UN member nations from purchasing armaments from North Korea.
"Particularly concerning here is that a permanent member of the Security Council is flouting these measures," he said, referring to Russia.