RUSSIA INVADES UKRAINE

White House: NKorea covertly shipping artillery to Russia

Nov 2, 2022, 8:45 AM | Updated: 8:46 am
People watch a television broadcast reporting on North Korean Kim Jong-un at the Seoul Railway Stat...
People watch a television broadcast reporting on North Korean Kim Jong-un at the Seoul Railway Station on January 05, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea. North Korea on Wednesday fired what appears to be a ballistic missile toward the East Sea, South Korea's military said, in the recalcitrant regime's first show of force this year. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Wednesday accused North Korea of covertly shipping a “significant number” of artillery shells to Russia in support of its invasion of Ukraine.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. believes North Korea is “trying to make it appear as though they’re being sent to countries in the Middle East or North Africa.” He declined to provide a specific estimate on the quantity of ammunition being sent to bolster the Russian effort.

Kirby said North Korea “is covertly supplying” the ammunition to Russia, but that, “we’re still monitoring this to determine whether the shipments are actually received.”

Kirby insisted that the North Korean shipments are “not going to change the course of the war,” citing Western efforts to resupply the Ukrainian military.

The White House would not specify the mode of transportation or whether the U.S. or other nations would attempt to interdict the shipments to Russia.

The White House revealed the new intelligence nearly two months after first alleging that U.S. intelligence officials had determined Russian Ministry of Defense was in the process of purchasing millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea for its ongoing fight in Ukraine.

Even as the administration revealed information about the covert North Korean artillery shell shipments, the White House also ought to downplay its significance.

“We don’t believe that they are in such a quantity that they would change the direction of this war or tangibly change the momentum either in the East or in the South” where some of the heaviest fighting in Ukraine is taking place, Kirby said.

The finding comes after after the Biden administration in August said that the Russian military in August took delivery of hundreds Iranian-manufactured drones for use on the battlefield in Ukraine. The Biden administration says that Iran has also sent personnel to Russian-controlled Crimea to provide technical support to the Russians on operation of the drones. Iranian officials have denied they have provided drones or other support to Russia.

Follow AP’s coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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White House: NKorea covertly shipping artillery to Russia