December 2, 2023

By HYUNG-JIN KIM (Related Press)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Latest satellite tv for pc photographs present a pointy improve in rail visitors alongside the North Korea-Russia border, indicating the North is supplying munitions to Russia, in accordance with a U.S. suppose tank.

Hypothesis a couple of doable North Korean plan to refill Russia’s munition shops drained in its protracted warfare with Ukraine flared final month, when North Korean chief Kim Jong Un traveled to Russia to satisfy President Vladimir Putin and go to key army websites. Overseas officers suspect Kim is looking for refined Russian weapons applied sciences in return for the munition to spice up his nuclear program.

“On condition that Kim and Putin mentioned some army exchanges and cooperation at their latest summit, the dramatic improve in rail visitors possible signifies North Korea’s provide of arms and munitions to Russia,” Past Parallel, an internet site run by the Washington-based Heart for Strategic and Worldwide Research suppose tank, stated in a report Friday.

“Nevertheless, the intensive use of tarps to cowl the transport crates/containers and gear makes it not possible to conclusively determine what’s seen on the Tumangang Rail Facility” on the border, it stated.

The report stated satellite tv for pc photos as of Oct. 5 captured “a dramatic and unprecedented stage of freight railcar visitors” on the Tumangang Rail Facility. It stated photos present roughly 73 railcars whereas a evaluation of earlier satellite tv for pc photos over the previous 5 years exhibits about 20 railcars at this facility at most.

U.S. and South Korean officers have warned that North Korea and Russia would face penalties in the event that they went forward with the reported weapons switch deal in violation with U.N. Safety Council resolutions that ban all weapons commerce involving North Korea.

Since final yr, the U.S. has accused North Korea of offering ammunition, artillery shells and rockets to Russia, possible a lot of them copies of Soviet-era munitions. South Korean officers stated North Korean weapons supplied to Russia had already been utilized in Ukraine.