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A Russian delegation arrived in Pyongyang on May 20, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported, citing North Korean state media.

The delegation is headed by Grigoriy Rapota, a member of the International Affairs Committee of Russia's Federation Council and chairman of the Russia-North Korea friendship parliamentary group, the Korean Central News Agency said in a one-line dispatch.

With Russia's military stocks running low and domestic production capacity simultaneously hampered by Western sanctions, North Korea has been shaping up as Russia's leading weapons supplier, reportedly providing Moscow with extensive military packages, including ballistic missiles and over 3 million artillery shells.

According to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, these military ties are increasingly a "two-way street," in which North Korea provides Russia with military equipment to use in Ukraine.

According to the Russian Embassy in North Korea, the delegation will stay until May 24 and discuss "issues of parliamentary interaction and outline plans for future contacts."

They did not announce a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un but will meet the chairperson of the Supreme National Assembly, North Korea's legislature.

South Korea's intelligence service is conducting a review into suspicions that North Korea has provided Russia with artillery shells and other weaponry manufactured in the 1970s, the country's National Intelligence Service (NIS) said on May 12.

The NIS' remarks come in response to recent South Korean media reports that allege 122 mm artillery shells manufactured in North Korea in the 1970s were used on Ukraine's eastern front. Both Ukrainian and U.S. officials have previously confirmed that Russia has been using North Korean-produced weaponry to attack Ukraine.

"The NIS is analyzing the relevant circumstance in detail and also continues to track overall military cooperation between North Korea and Russia," the intelligence agency said, amid concern that North Korea is procuring older weapons to develop new ones.

Reuters: Half of North Korean missiles fired by Russia blow up in mid-air, Ukraine’s top prosecutor says
While the number of missiles Pyongyang has given to Moscow remains a tiny percentage of Russia’s overall stockpiles, Ukraine and its allies are concerned about the growing ties between the two countries.
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