The United States has imposed rigorous sanctions on Russia and individuals aiding them in acquiring weapons. In September, there were indications of Russia seeking assistance from North Korea. The administration of President Joe Biden now officially acknowledges the collaborative efforts between the two nations.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby informed reporters on January 4 that the United States possesses information suggesting that North Korea supplied Russia with ballistic missile launchers and multiple ballistic missiles. Kirby further mentioned that the Russian military deployed one of these missiles into Ukraine on December 30, followed by additional missile launches in the subsequent days.
Kirby clarified that the initial North Korean missile landed in an open field, and the United States was in the process of evaluating the outcome of the second launch. He emphasized that the U.S. anticipates further deployment of North Korean missiles, aiming at civilian infrastructure and posing a threat to innocent lives.
Russia’s interests extend beyond North Korean missiles. According to a recent report by The Wall Street Journal, the Kremlin is actively pursuing a plan to acquire ballistic missiles from Iran. Analysts suggest that these missiles would provide the Russian military with the capability to target vital infrastructure in Ukraine.
Reports indicate that the Biden administration is expressing apprehension regarding Russia’s efforts to enhance its defense capabilities amid an ongoing debate on providing additional assistance to Ukraine. There is bipartisan support for increased funding, but Republicans are insisting on policy adjustments at the border as a condition.
As of now, an agreement has not been reached between the two sides. In the previous year, Biden’s team stated that funding for Ukraine would be depleted by January 1 if no resolution was achieved.
Kirby characterized the information about North Korea’s engagement in the conflict as a noteworthy and troubling escalation. Additionally, he conveyed the U.S. belief that Kim Jong-un is actively seeking to acquire surface-to-air missiles, a fighter plane, and other sophisticated weaponry. Similar to Russia, the North Korean government has positioned itself in a situation of isolation, seeking assistance. This suggests a potential mutually beneficial relationship for both authoritarian regimes.