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Russia hails Pyongyang for supporting its war against Ukraine

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin, April 25, 2019. (Kremlin/Released)
March 01, 2024

This article was originally published by Radio Free Asia and is reprinted with permission.

Russia has expressed its gratitude to North Korea again for supporting its aggression against Ukraine in a show of solidarity as fresh claims of arms trading between the two authoritarian regimes emerged. 

“We are pleased that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is standing with us at the forefront of this struggle,” the Russian Embassy in Pyongyang said in a Facebook post on Feb. 29, to update developments in Ukraine.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is North Korea’s official name. 

“The United States and its puppets are responsible for the bloodshed and destruction brought about by their policies of repression in Russia,” the embassy said, adding that “Russia will win and this will be a shared victory for all who adhere to the new world order.”

North Korea has supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, calling it a “righteous struggle to defend its strategic security and interests.”

The message from the Russian Embassy in Pyongyang came a few days after Seoul said North Korea has sent some 6,700 containers carrying more than three million artillery shells to Russia since August last year. 

North Korea and Russia have been accused of engaging in arms trading, with the Ukrainians alleging that Russian forces have used North Korean missiles to attack them – a claim that both Pyongyang and Moscow have denied.

South Korea’s defense minister Shin Won-sik told journalists on Tuesday that judging by the number of containers; he estimates that millions of rounds have been delivered to Russia, including more than three million 152mm artillery shells and more than half a million 122mm rocket launchers. 

Shin noted that among the hundreds of munitions factories in North Korea, he estimates only about 30% are operational. However, those involved in Russian-related activities seem to be functioning at full capacity.

Separately, South Korea’s National Intelligence Service said in November last year that Moscow has likely offered Pyongyang technological advice for its satellite launch, as it has received more than 1 million artillery shells from North Korea since early August.