1,6 million artillery shells: North Korea’s contribution to Russia’s war estimated

Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un meeting on June 19. Photo: MFA Russia/X

The Washington Post has analyzed that North Korea had provided approximately 1,6 million artillery shells to the Russian Federation via ports in almost a year.

“The data, obtained by the global security nonprofit C4ADS and provided to The Washington Post, covers shipments from August through January and shows that more than 74,000 metric tons of explosives were distributed from two ports in Russia’s Far East to 16 sites mainly along the country’s western borders near Ukraine. That weight is equal to about 1.6 million artillery shells of the type Russia has used in the war,” The Washington Post assumes.

Ahead of the meeting of Putin and Kim Jong Un, the US State Department stated that North Korea had sent more than 11,000 containers of munitions to Russia since September, 2023.

“This is the closest thing to proof of Russian-North Korean connection when it comes to munitions transfers, and this proves that the Russians and North Koreans were lying [about the weapons transfers],” explained Go Myong-hyun, senior research fellow at Seoul’s Institute for National Security Strategy, linked to South Korea’s intelligence agency.

NATO Secretary Jeneral claimed that cooperation with China is the key factor that allowed Russia to maintain its defense industrial base. According to him, China has been supplying 70% of Moscow’s machine tool imports and 90% of the microelectronics, and this must be stopped.

“We are of course also concerned about the potential support that Russia provides to North Korea when it comes to supporting their missile and nuclear programs,” the NATO chief added.

On June 19, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un signed a defence pact which suggests that Russia and North Korea are to help each other in case one of them is attacked. This agreeement between the two dictator states allows Putin to keep waging the war in Ukraine and isolated North Korea to have a consistent resource of money.

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