North Korea has slammed the US over claims that the country is selling arms to Russia, describing the allegations as “reckless” and “fake.”
In a statement released by Korean Central News Agency on Thursday, a yet-to-be-identified official said the US was spreading lies about an arms deal between Moscow and Pyongyang.
“We strongly condemn and sternly warn the US over spreading such anti [North Korea] rhetoric. We have never exported weapons or ammunition to Russia before, and we will not plan to export them,” the official said.
The statement is coming one week after the deputy spokesperson for the US Department of State, Vedant Patel, said Russia was purchasing arms from North Korea after a severe shortage in its arsenals.
Patel said Russia was “in the process of purchasing millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea for use in Ukraine.”
The spokesperson of the US national security, John Kirby, later clarified Patel’s statement, saying that there were “no indications that purchase has been completed and certainly no indications that those weapons are being used inside of Ukraine.”
The Korean official said: “It is not sure from where the rumor originated which the U.S. is spreading, but it is aimed at tarnishing the [North Korea’s] image.”
The North Korean official went on to tell the US to “keep its mouth shut” and stop making “reckless remarks” concerning. He, however, stressed that North Korea did not recognize the sanctions imposed on it, describing them as unlawful.
North Korea, a major source of arms
Since 2006, North Korea has been banned from importing and exporting arms. However, it was not banned from making arms. That could only mean one thing. There are sufficient small arms, artilleries, and other long-range missiles in the country. In recent years, North Korea has accelerated its arms production, and just last week, it said it is officially now a nuclear weapons state.
Experts say North Korea could supply sufficient arms to Russia if it wants. For now, there is no indication that Pyongyang has broken what it described as “unlawful sanctions.”
The Russian-Korean Relationship
Relations between Russia and North Korea have been smooth, especially since the war in Ukraine started. North Korea is one of the few countries that recognizes the Donekst Peoples Republic and the Luhansk Peoples Republic, the two breakaway regions from Ukraine, as independent countries.
Leaders of both countries recently exchanged letters assuring each other of cooperation, solidarity, and support. China and Russia recently used their vetoed a US-drafted resolution to impose new sanctions on North Korea.