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US reveals military connection between Russia and North Korea

A recently declassified US intelligence report claims that the Kremlin has resorted to buying weapons from another “pariah state”, this time North Korea.

A recently declassified US intelligence report claims that the Kremlin has resorted to buying weapons from another “pariah state”, this time North Korea.

The repeated sanctions by the West against Russia are affecting the offensive power of the Kremlin. The revelation was reported in The New York Times, which cites sources from American intelligence services. According US government officials, the usual armament supply lines Moscow relies on have been hampered by international sanctions, and they are having to turn to alternative markets.

Among them, the purchase of millions of projectiles and rockets from North Korea is of particular significance, according to documents declassified by US intelligence. The Kremlin, these documents say, is being forced to “turn to pariah states for military supplies.” This information comes days after Russia received drones of Iranian origin, some of them with mechanical problems, according to US officials.

According to information published by NYT, Russia’s decision to turn to third countries such as Iran first and then North Korea, now reveals how sanctions and export controls imposed by the West and the United States are affecting its ability to resupply and maintain the strength of its military. So far, however, “few details from the declassified intelligence about the exact weaponry, timing or size of the shipment” have been provided, an the publication could not independently verify the intelligence.

In any case, in addition to these short-range rockets and artillery shells, Russia is also expected to acquire other types of equipment from North Korea, according to a US official. “The Kremlin should be alarmed that it has to buy anything at all from North Korea,” Mason Clark, director of the Russia team at the Institute for the Study of the War (ISW).

Declassification of documents

Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine took place, the White House began declassifying intelligence reports on Moscow’s military plans. The US government initially disclosed such material to allies in private, and later to the public. After stopping such revelations, they again began declassifying documents to highlight infighting within the Russian military and reports of Iranian drone purchases and trouble recruiting soldiers.

Meanwhile, the broad economic sanctions have not fully affected Russia, since it can still sell energy with rising prices on the global market due to the invasion. However, the actions have had an effect of blunting Russia’s ability to resupply its troops with needed weaponry as the war drags out far longer than the Kremlin’s military planners, and for that matter Putin envisioned, when the invasion began in late February. Moscow had hoped to get around any sanction with the help of China. But for the time being Beijing has respected the military export controls.