North Korea has sent at least 10,000 shipping containers with nearly 5 million artillery shells to Russia, South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-sik told Bloomberg News.

However, Russian leader Vladimir Putin is likely to ask for more ammunition during his next visit to Pyongyang.

“Putin is expected to seek closer security cooperation with North Korea, especially military supplies such as artillery shells that are necessary to seize a chance to win,” Shin Won-sik said.

He also added that North Korea has sent dozens of ballistic missiles to Russia.

In exchange for ammunition Russia sent to North Korea technologies which would help it deploy an array of spy satellites as well as conventional arms such as tanks and aircraft, Bloomberg reports.


In February Seoul stated that Russia could receive up to three million artillery shells from North Korea.

The munitions sent by North Korea since Putin and Kim met in Russia in September for a meeting that led to stepped-up trade between the neighbors have likely far outstripped what has been sent to Ukraine by the US and the European Union.

It has allowed the Kremlin’s forces to bombard Ukraine, as it was forced to ration ammunition due to dwindling supplies — with aid for Ukraine being held up in the US Congress.

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