How do North Korean weapons assist Russia?

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea is seemingly heading in direction of sell millions of rockets and artillery shells – lots of that are more likely to come from his previous inventory – to his Chilly Warfare ally Russia.

Russia has referred to as a US intelligence report on the acquisition plan “false”. However US officers say it reveals Russia’s desperation over the warfare in Ukraine and that Moscow might purchase further army {hardware} from North Korea.

The munitions North Korea reportedly intends to promote to Moscow are seemingly copies of Soviet-era weapons that may be mounted on Russian launchers. However there are nonetheless questions concerning the high quality of the provides and the way a lot they may actually assist the Russian military.



Hit by worldwide sanctions and export controls, Russia in August bought Iranian-made drones that U.S. officers stated had technical issues. For Russia, North Korea might be one other good possibility for its ammo provide, because the North maintains a big stockpile of shells, lots of that are copies of Soviet-era ones.

North Korea “might symbolize the biggest supply of suitable legacy artillery munitions exterior of Russia, together with home manufacturing services for extra provides,” stated Joseph Dempsey, protection analysis affiliate and l army evaluation on the Worldwide Institute for Strategic Research (IISS).

Lee Illwoo, a Korea Protection Community knowledgeable on South Korea, stated North and South Korea – divided alongside the world’s most closely fortified border for greater than 70 years – every maintain tens of hundreds of thousands artillery shells. North Korea will seemingly promote older shells that it desires to switch with newer shells for a number of rocket-launching techniques or refined missiles at its frontline army bases, he stated.

North Korea’s larger reliance on nuclear weapons and guided missiles might additionally take away the necessity for a lot of of its older unguided artillery shells that after performed distinguished roles, stated Ankit Panda, an knowledgeable on Carnegie Endowment for Worldwide Peace.

However Bruce Bennett, senior safety knowledgeable on the California-based Rand Company, stated most artillery shells to be despatched to Russia would seemingly be small arms ammunition, resembling AK-47 rifles or machine weapons.

“It isn’t hundreds of thousands of artillery shells and rockets – it is greater than the seemingly consumption. It could possibly be hundreds of thousands of small arms rounds,” Bennett stated.



Based on an IISS evaluation, North Korea has about 20,000 artillery items, together with a number of rocket launchers in service, a quantity Dempsey described as “way over every other nation on the planet.”

North Korean state media referred to as its artillery weapons the “first weapon of the Individuals’s Military and essentially the most highly effective weapon on the planet” able to decreasing the enemy place to “a sea of ​​flames”.

However its previous artillery techniques, the ammunition of which can in all probability be provided to Russia, have a popularity for being inaccurate.

Throughout North Korea’s artillery bombardment of South Korea’s frontline Yeonpyeong Island in 2010, which killed 4 folks, Bennett stated solely 80 of the 300 to 400 weapons North Korea would have needed to shoot in all probability hit their goal. In his evaluation, Lee stated about half of the North Korean shells fired ended up falling within the waters earlier than reaching the island.

“It is a poor artillery efficiency. The Russians may expertise the identical, which will not make them very comfortable,” Bennett stated.

Observers doubt the usefulness of North Korean ammunition for the Russian marketing campaign in Ukraine, which they are saying has exhausted the army. There have been photographs of damaged Russian firearms on social media.

It’s unclear how critical the Russian ammunition scarcity is. In July, a senior US protection official informed reporters that Russia was launching tens of 1000’s of artillery hearth day by day and couldn’t proceed indefinitely.

“Whereas substantial stockpiles seemingly nonetheless exist, they may more and more encroach on these reserved for the opportunity of a future broader battle,” Dempsey stated.



North Korea is unlikely to produce Russia with ballistic missiles it considers essential in its army methods towards Washington and Seoul, stated Yang Uk, an analyst on the Asan Institute for Coverage Research in Seoul.

And if North Korea decides to produce missiles to Russia, it should additionally need to ship its launch platforms as a result of Russia doesn’t have launchers for Scuds and different missiles from the North. North Korea has developed a extremely maneuverable nuclear-powered ballistic missile that was seemingly modeled after the Russian Iskander. However the two missiles are totally different sizes, in response to Shin Jongwoo, a Korea Protection and Safety Discussion board army knowledgeable primarily based in Seoul,

There could be numerous objects that North Korea might provide to Russia, on condition that the 2 international locations share weapons techniques relationship again to Soviet instances. However the form of ammunition North Korea would provide to Russia “will seemingly be previous and near expiration,” stated Moon Seong Mook, an analyst at Korea Analysis Institute for South Korea’s Nationwide Technique.



In change for arms, North Korea is more likely to need meals, gas and different supplies from Russia, because the North struggles to purchase such items from overseas beneath UN sanctions. imposed on its nuclear program.

Panda stated North Korea would seemingly profit within the type of money transfers from Russia, or maybe larger Russian leniency by not making use of additional sanctions to Pyongyang, together with the switch of supplies. needed for the expansion of North Korean missile applications.

Based on Bennett, North Korea could be able to be compensated with gas. For its most superior weapons, it might search superior weapons applied sciences from Russia, probably together with these it wants for its deliberate nuclear check, the primary of its variety in 5 years, he stated.

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