UK Military Intelligence report: North Korea ships its missiles and munitions to Russia

Great Britain handed over to a group of UN experts the satellite images of North Korean supplies to Russia. According to the Guardian, London is about to launch an official investigation into an arms supply deal between Russia and North Korea aimed at circumvention of the international sanctions, imposed on Russia for its unjustified and aggressive war against Ukraine.

The aforementioned information is based on the British Military Intelligence report that had not been made public, but the journalists had the opportunity to have a look at it. The images were taken between September and December 2023, showing three Russian ships loading containers at the North Korean port of Najin before transiting to Russian ports in the Far East of Russia.

The report, along with the supporting evidence from the United States and other countries, was provided to the UN panel of experts on Non-proliferation/Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The experts are expected to issue their first final report in a month following the surge of North Korean munitions shipments to Russia in 2023.

Although the intelligence community said it could not identify the insides of the containers, it was clear from the US official’s statement last week that North Korean ballistic missiles had been delivered to the Russians. The Russian occupiers have already used them against Ukraine to bomb civilian infrastructure, inflicting numerous casualties among civilians.

“Russia’s use of North Korean weapons in Ukraine is in violation of several UN Security Council resolutions. This act undermines the international efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and shows how desperate Russia has become after its failed invasion (of Ukrine – ed.). These and other pieces evidence presented to the respective UN Sanctions Committee should prompt a full investigation of gross violations of the international sanctions by Russia and the DPRK,” said one of the UN diplomats.

All of the ships mentioned in the report have been under US sanctions since 2022 due to their ties to the shipping company of the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Oboronlogistika LLC, which participated in the occupation of Crimea, as well as to Russian private companies that transport weapons and other military item goods for the Russian government.

Two of the three ships were also identified in a recent report by the Royal United Services Institute. The results of the report indicate an increase in the volume of transshipment from North Korea to Russia, which “reveals that Russia has probably begun large-scale shipments of North Korean munitions.” The third ship was identified by NK News, an independent news website specialized in North Korea, as “part of a group of commercial vessels that completed numerous shipments of military equipment and ammunition provided by the DPRK to Russia.”

Ukrainian prosecutors told the Guardian journalists that suspected fragments of North Korean-made Iskander-type missiles had been sent to Kyiv for analysis. According to the Ukrainian prosecutors, the North Korean missiles had subtle differences compared to the similar-type Russian missiles: hand-drawn letters for serial numbers, as well as a different exhaust nozzle cones and welding.

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