Moscow is purchasing rockets and artillery shells from North Korea to support its invasion of Ukraine, according to a newly declassified U.S. intelligence finding.

Moscow’s appeal to Pyongyang for help once again confirms the fact that Russia is very short of weapons for the war with Ukraine, due in part to export controls and sanctions.

The finding did not reveal exactly how much weaponry Russia intended to buy from North Korea, but US intelligence officials believe the Russians could try to acquire additional North Korean military equipment in the future.

However, any arms sales to Russia by North Korea would be a violation of UN resolutions banning Pyongyang from exporting to, or importing weapons from, other countries.

North Korea has sought to strengthen relations with Russia after much of Europe and the West pulled away from it. Pyongyang called the United States the real culprit of the Ukrainian crisis and said that “hegemonic policy” justifies Russia’s military actions in Ukraine for self-defense.


Thus, US officials say that economic restrictions imposed by Europe and the United States are proving effective. After all, now Russia does not have the opportunity to buy weapons or parts for the production of these weapons. Therefore, Russia has to buy low-quality equipment from countries that are in isolation.

It is possible that the Russian leadership expected China to abandon export controls and continue supplying the necessary components to the Russian military. However, Beijing still adheres to export controls and does not sell either military equipment or components, despite the offered Russian oil discount.

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