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North Korea denies arms dealing with Russia

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Seoul (AFP) – North Korea on Sunday denied supplying weapons to Moscow after the United States said the nuclear-weapon state had supplied rockets and missiles to the Russian private military group Wagner.

Earlier this month, Washington called the Wagner Group a “transnational criminal organization”, citing its arms dealings in Pyongyang in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

The White House has shown US intelligence agencies photographs of Russian railroad cars entering North Korea, picking up a cargo of infantry rockets and rockets, and returning to Russia, according to national security spokesman John Kirby.

In a statement released by Korea’s official Central News Agency, a senior North Korean official denied the allegations, warning that the US would face a “really unwelcome outcome” if it persisted in spreading “self-guided rumors.”

“An attempt to tarnish[North Korea’s]image by fabricating a non-existent thing is a serious provocation that cannot be tolerated and cannot but provoke a reaction,” said Kwon Jeong-gun, director general of the US Department of Affairs.

He also called it “a stupid attempt to justify his offer of weapons to Ukraine.”

Earlier this week, U.S. President Joe Biden pledged 31 Abrams tanks, one of the most powerful and advanced weapons in the U.S. Army, to help Kyiv fend off Moscow’s invasion.

On Friday, the move drew a rebuke from Kim Yo-jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s powerful sister, who accused Washington of “crossing the red line further” by sending tanks into Ukraine.

During a meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin in Seoul on Sunday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg acknowledged concerns about Pyongyang’s “reckless missile tests and nuclear programs” and the consequences of the Ukrainian war in South Korea.

“We also know that North Korea is providing military support to the Russian war effort with rockets and missiles,” he added.

Along with China, Russia is one of the few international friends of the North and has previously come to the aid of the regime.

Other than Syria and Russia, North Korea is the only country to recognize the independence of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions, two Russian-backed breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.

Russia, one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, has long opposed increased pressure on nuclear-armed North Korea, even demanding the lifting of international sanctions on humanitarian grounds.

Kim Jong Un declared North Korea an “irreversible” nuclear power in September, and the country conducted sanctions-violating weapons tests nearly every month last year, including launches of its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile.

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