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White House: Russia fires North Korea-supplied missiles into Ukraine

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 4, 2024 11:29 PM 3 min read
John Kirby, U.S. National Security Council spokesperson, speaks during a news conference in Washington, D.C., on March 21, 2023. (Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Russia has already used ballistic missiles supplied by North Korea to attack Ukraine, U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said at a press conference on Jan. 4.

As Russia has become more isolated since the beginning of the full-scale invasion and has increasingly depleted its preexisting supplies of military equipment, it has turned to countries like North Korea and Iran to replenish its stocks.

Unnamed U.S. officials previously told the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post that North Korea has provided Russia with launchers and several dozen ballistic missiles. Kirby’s statement is the first official report of Russia deploying these missiles.

Russian forces launched at least one of the North Korean-supplied missiles into Ukraine on Dec. 30, according to Kirby, and this missile appears to have landed in an open field in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

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.

The White House official added the U.S. is still assessing the impact of the additional missiles.

‘I’m in shock:’ Russia’s mass attack on Kyiv shatters lives and dreams
Semen Nedanov could hardly hold back his tears when he showed the Kyiv Independent what was left of his flat in the central Solomiansky district after a Russian attack on Kyiv early on Jan. 2. “I’m in shock,” the 48-year-old told the Kyiv Independent as he waited for first

Contrary to some speculation that Russia was running out of missiles, Russian forces launched some of their largest missile attacks against Ukraine at the end of December and early January.

The Pyongyang-provided missiles can reach targets 900 kilometers away, which is “a significant and concerning escalation in the North Korean support for Russia,” according to Kirby.

“We expect Russia and North Korea to learn from these launches, and we anticipate Russia will use additional North Korean missiles to target Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and to kill innocent Ukrainian civilians.”

The U.S. assesses that in return for supplying the ballistic missiles, North Korea seeks from Russia fighter aircraft, surface-to-air missiles, armored vehicles, ballistic missile production equipment, and other advanced military technologies.

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.

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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