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Ukraine's Air Force can't confirm yet that Russia has used North Korean missiles in Ukraine

by Nate Ostiller January 5, 2024 11:28 AM 2 min read
Russian leader Vladimir Putin (center L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (center R) visit the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia's Amur Oblast on Sept. 13, 2023. (Mikhail Metzel/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's Air Force cannot yet say for certain that Russia has used North Korean ballistic missiles in attacks on Ukraine, Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat said on national television on Jan. 5.

U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said on Jan. 4 that Russia has already used ballistic missiles supplied by North Korea to attack Ukraine, building upon statements by unnamed U.S. officials to the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal that North Korea had begun providing Russia with missiles and launchers.

Ihnat said the confirmation that the missiles originated from North Korea came from the U.S., but that Ukrainian specialists are yet to study the fragments and identify if they can be definitively traced to North Korea.

Many weapons in North Korea's arsenal date back to the Soviet era, and can be indistinguishable from those that Russia possesses, he added.

Washington confirmed increased weapons and ammunition transfers from North Korea to Russia following a meeting between Russian leader Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in September.

South Korean intelligence reports claim that North Korea has delivered more than a million shells to Russia.

According to Kirby, at least one North Korean-provided missile landed in an open field in Zaporizhzhia Oblast on Dec. 30.

Russia also used multiple North Korean missiles to strike Ukraine on Jan. 2, Kirby said, including as part of its overnight mass attack that killed five people and injured 130 more.

Russia, China and North Korea have new dynamics. And it’s bad for Ukraine
The White House announced on Oct. 13 that North Korea had delivered more than 1,000 containers of military equipment and ammunition to bolster Russia’s war against Ukraine. Washington published pictures tracking a set of containers as it traveled from Najin, North Korea, to Dunay, Russia, by a Russ…
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