March 22, 2023
Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, North Korea. Photograph published on December 31, 2022 by the North Korea News Agency. On Sunday, a senior member of the North Korean government dismissed the US accusations. KCNA/REUTERS

The White House Security Council spokesman released footage that allegedly shows train cars delivering North Korean weapons to Russia, including rockets for Wagner.

North Korea on Sunday denied supplying arms to Moscow after Washington accused it of delivering rockets and missiles to the Russian paramilitary group Wagnerengaged in Ukraine.

Last week, White House Security Council spokesman John Kirby released US intelligence footage showing alleged Russian train cars returning from North Korea loaded with military equipment, including rockets for Wagner. In the aftermath, the United States designated Wagner as a “criminal organizationand declared to transmit these recordings to the UN as part of the sanctions against Pyongyang.

“A serious provocation”

On Sunday, a senior North Korean government official denounced “a stupid attempt to justify» future arms shipments to Ukraine from Washington, which on Thursday promised 31 Abrams tanks to kyiv. Quoted by the official KCNA news agency, the Director General of the North Korean American Affairs Department, Kwon Jong Gun, dismissed this “fabricated rumorand warned the United States that they would expose themselves to a “really undesirable resultif they kept spreading it. “Trying to tarnish the image of (North Korea) by manufacturing something that does not exist is a serious provocation that can never be allowed and can only trigger a reaction“, he added.

On Friday, Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, also had criticized promises to send arms to Ukraine by the United Statesaccusing them ofcross the red line even further“. Russia, which is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, has long argued against tougher international sanctions against North Korea and even called for them to be eased on humanitarian grounds.

During a meeting on Sunday in Seoul with South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed concerns about Pyongyang’s posture, both in terms of its “dangerous“military tests that sound”support for Russia’s war effort” in Ukraine. Kim Jong Un said in 2022 that he wanted his country to have the most powerful nuclear force in the world, calling it in September “irreversible» the nuclear power status of the North.

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