North Korea denies selling ammunition to Russia after the United States and a Japanese media report said Pyongyang has completed at least two arms deliveries to the Kremlin.
The North Korean State Department on Friday described the allegations as “baseless” and accused the United States of “bringing bloodshed and destruction to Ukraine by providing it with various types of deadly weapons,” according to state-run North Korean news agency KCNA, as reported by Reuters.
The Japanese branch of Shimbun in Tokyo had previously reported that Pyongyang had shipped ammunition, including artillery shells, aboard a train to Russia last month. According to the report, further deliveries were expected in the coming weeks.
“The false report from the Japanese media that the DPRK has offered ammunition to Russia is the most absurd diversionary tactic that is not worth comment or interpretation,” a ministry spokesperson said in a statement released by KCNA.
White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Thursday that the North had completed an initial shipment of weapons to the Russian mercenary group Wagner, which was financed by the organization. The shipment follows another delivery from the isolated country last month, which included infantry rockets and rockets sent to Russia so Wagner could use them, he said.
“North Korean officials have publicly stated that they would not support Russia’s war in Ukraine — and yet they are delivering weapons to Wagner here, in direct violation of UN Security Council resolutions,” Kirby said, noting that the US plans to raise North Korea’s violations with the Council.
The North Korean statement did not mention Wagner, although the group’s leader has described the US claims as “gossip and speculation.”
The North Korean spokesperson said the arms transactions between Pyongyang and Moscow “never took place.”
Russia had to turn to world outcasts such as Iran and North Korea to support its unprovoked war in Ukraine.
The US claims that Tehran shipped armed drones to Moscow, while Pyongyang secretly supplies Russia with rockets and artillery shells.