Russia Facilitates Access to Frozen DPRK Assets, Allegedly for North Korean Weapons

In a controversial move, Russian authorities have reportedly unfrozen a portion of North Korean assets held in a Russian bank and aided the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in accessing the international banking system. Citing sources within the intelligence agencies of US allies, The New York Times sheds light on this development.

According to unnamed officials cited by the newspaper, this action followed North Korea’s purported transfer of weapons to Russia for potential use in the ongoing
Russian-Ukrainian war.

Intelligence sources claim that Russia has released $9 million of the $30 million frozen assets belonging to Pyongyang, although the specific Russian bank involved remains undisclosed. The funds are purportedly earmarked for oil purchases by the DPRK.

Moreover, The New York Times reports that a North Korean entity has established an account in another Russian bank, notably located in the breakaway republic of South Ossetia. This maneuver suggests Russian assistance in circumventing UN sanctions barring banks from engaging with North Korea.
While American officials admitted a lack of detailed knowledge regarding Moscow’s banking arrangements with Pyongyang, they indicated alignment with expectations of North Korean demands for weapons supply from Russia.
Experts interviewed by the publication speculate that Russia, as a member of the UN Security Council, will tread cautiously in its dealings with the DPRK, considering the sensitive geopolitical implications at play.

Should there be consequences? No doubt!

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