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Bloomberg: US top general says North Korea’s missiles getting valuable battlefield testing in Ukraine

by Olena Goncharova April 7, 2024 6:58 AM 2 min read
A television news broadcast shows file footage of a North Korean missile test at a railway station in Seoul on March 9, 2023, after North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile. (Anthony Wallace / AFP via Getty Images)
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Russia's use of North Korean missiles during its offensive in Ukraine presents a unique opportunity for Pyongyang to assess its weaponry in actual combat scenarios, potentially gaining insights to enhance their effectiveness, according to a senior U.S. military official.

"I don’t believe that in my recent memory the North Korean military has had a battlefield laboratory quite like the Russians are affording them to have in Ukraine,"  General Charles Flynn, the U.S. Army Pacific’s commanding general said, Bloomberg reports.

North Korea is emerging as a primary weapons provider for Russia, allegedly furnishing Moscow with comprehensive military provisions, which encompass ballistic missiles and reportedly over 3 million artillery shells.

During a visit to the sprawling U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, located approximately 80 kilometers south of Seoul, Flynn emphasized on April 6 that the U.S. will be closely monitoring the unfolding situation. He expressed significant concern that North Korea could acquire insights into their weaponry through the war in Ukraine that they wouldn't have had access to otherwise.

The U.S., South Korea, and other nations have accused North Korea of dispatching its latest nuclear-capable ballistic missiles to Russia. These missiles are purportedly designed to be easily concealed, rapidly deployed, and difficult to intercept.

Images supplied by the U.S. suggest that these missiles are Hwasong-11s, a broad category of short-range ballistic missiles known for their ability to accurately strike targets with precision, Bloomberg reports, citing weapons experts.

There have been at least 10 instances of Russia employing North Korean missiles to attack Ukraine, Jung Pak, the U.S. Senior Official for North Korea said in March.

Oleksandr Filchakov, the head of the Kharkiv Oblast prosecutor's office, said on March 14 that Russia had used almost 50 North Korean missiles in its assaults on Ukraine since the start of the full-scale invasion. This number is five times higher than the count provided by Pak.

Russia uses UN veto to block renewal of North Korea sanctions monitors
Russia on March 28 vetoed the annual renewal of the panel of experts monitoring U.N. sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

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