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North Korea Accelerates Covert Weapon Deliveries to Putin 2024

1.Putin’s Gesture: Luxury Limo Gifted to Kim Jong Un (North Korea)

In a gesture of appreciation, Vladimir Putin presented Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, with a lavish luxury limousine. This diplomatic gesture highlights the complex relationships between nations and serves as a symbolic token of goodwill between Russia and North Korea

2.Russia Replenishes Arms Amid Depletion in Ukraine:

As Ukraine faces dwindling supplies of weaponry, Russia is swiftly replenishing its arsenal, exacerbating concerns over the balance of power in the region. The depletion of arms in Ukraine coupled with Russia’s rapid restocking underscores the asymmetric military dynamics at play.

According to South Korean Defense Minister Shin Wonsik, North Korea has reportedly transported numerous containers to Russia, potentially facilitating President Vladimir Putin’s ongoing military efforts in Ukraine amidst Kyiv’s diminishing ammunition reserves. Shin disclosed that approximately 6,700 containers have been dispatched to Russia, with the pace of shipments intensifying notably following a summit between Putin and Kim Jong Un in September. Each of these containers has the capacity to store an estimated 3 million rounds of 152 mm shells, Shin added.

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Russia, in exchange, is reportedly supplying North Korea with essential commodities such as food, raw materials, and components utilized in the manufacturing of weapons, disclosed Shin. This aid has assisted Kim in stabilizing prices for essential goods. Shin further warned that if the arms transfers between the two nations escalate, Russia is poised to furnish additional military technology to Kim, potentially augmenting Pyongyang’s capacity to pose a regional threat.

Exploring the Vanished $100 Million Icebreaker Superyacht of a Russian Billionaire, Amid Sanctions

With the North Korea-Russia trade gaining momentum amidst the ongoing conflict now entering its third year, the flow of US military assistance to Kyiv is facing growing challenges. Additionally, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy lamented that the European Union has only fulfilled approximately 30% of its pledged 1 million artillery shell donation to Kyiv by March.

Zelenskiy asserted that Ukraine believes North Korea has transferred 1.5 million artillery shells to Russia along with an undisclosed number of missiles, indicating Pyongyang’s readiness to continue supplying weaponry. Despite denials of arms transfers by both North Korea and Russia, commercial satellite imagery has revealed the movement of approximately four cargo vessels between North Korea’s Najin port near the Russian border and the Russian port of Dunay, situated around 180 kilometers (110 miles) away.

Escalating Concerns: North Korea-Russia Arms Trade

The White House confirmed tracking some of these shipments as they traversed by rail across Russia, destined for storage depots in close proximity to Ukraine. This emerging trade connection between Russia and North Korea raises concerns, particularly as two ports are suspected of serving as hubs for an illicit arms trade.

In the wake of the full-scale invasion, former Cold War allies Russia and North Korea have forged a renewed partnership, capitalizing on Pyongyang’s vast munitions reserves that complement Moscow’s deployed weaponry in Ukraine. Pyongyang’s transfer of ballistic missiles, artillery shells, and other military equipment to sustain Putin’s aggression in Ukraine injects new life into an economy long beset by international sanctions. This collaboration enables Kim to sidestep engagement with the US while bolstering his capabilities in satellite surveillance and nuclear armament development.

North Korea’s annual economy is estimated to be around $25 billion, as reported by South Korea’s central bank. The nation faces urgent requirements for essentials such as food, oil, building materials, and cash to facilitate international trade. The weaponry Kim Jong Un is allegedly providing to Russia is presumed to hold a substantial value, likely amounting to several billion dollars. The support Kim receives from Putin arguably constitutes one of the most significant gains he has experienced since assuming power approximately a dozen years ago.

In a display of gratitude, Putin gifted the North Korean leader a brand-new Russian-made automobile. The vehicle in question was an Aurus limousine, akin to the one showcased by Putin during their meeting in September in Russia. This gesture further solidified their military collaboration and underscored the strengthening ties between the two nations.

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