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US, Japan, South Korea condemn North Korean arms deal with Russia

by Abbey Fenbert October 26, 2023 6:54 AM 2 min read
A plane carrying Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov prepares to take off from the airport in Pyongyang, Oct. 19 2023. (Kim Won Jin / AFP via Getty Images)
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The United States, Japan, and South Korea issued a joint statement on Oct. 25 condemning North Korea's provision of weapons to Russia for its war in Ukraine, the U.S. State Department reported.

"Such weapons deliveries, several of which we now confirm have been completed, will significantly increase the human toll of Russia’s war of aggression," the statement read.

The statement was released by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Japanese Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko, and South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin.

U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said on Oct. 13 that Russia had  received shipments of North Korean weapons and ammunition following a meeting between Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in September.

Moscow denied signing an agreement with Pyongyang, but satellite images in early October confirmed an increase in rail traffic at the North Korean-Russian border. At the same time, media outlets reported that weapons deliveries had begun.

The U.S. believes that in return for weapons and military equipment, North Korea hopes to acquire advanced Russian technologies for its own nuclear program.

The Oct. 25 statement said that such a deal "would violate multiple UN Security Council resolutions."

Russia carried out testing of a large-scale retaliatory nuclear strike on Oct. 25, according to Kremlin reports. The alleged test coincided with Russia's withdrawal from the nuclear test ban treaty.

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