Images show North Korea has secretly been sending cargo to Russia, likely supplying munitions as Russia’s own stockpiles dwindle – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Images show North Korea has secretly been sending cargo to Russia, likely supplying munitions as Russia’s own stockpiles dwindle

Satellite images showed two cargo ships making multiple trips between Russia and North Korea.

Planet Labs, courtesy of Royal United Services Institute

Satellite images suggest that North Korea and Russia have developed an elaborate supply line.
The images show that two cargo vessels have repeatedly transported hundreds of containers from North Korea to Russia.
It’s likely the ships were carrying munitions — which could have an alarming impact on the war in Ukraine.

New satellite images appear to show that North Korea has been supplying Russia with far more military equipment and munitions than was previously known.

White House National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Friday that North Korea in recent weeks sent Russia 1,000 containers of munitions and military equipment, which will ultimately be used to attack Ukrainian cities and kill civilians. 

“Due in part to our sanctions and export controls, Russia has been forced to desperately search around the world for military equipment,” Kirby said. “As we’ve been warning publicly, one of those states is North Korea.”

But the new satellite images, analyzed by the UK-based Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think tank and first obtained by The Washington Post, suggest a much more elaborate operation.

Planet Labs, courtesy of Royal United Services Institute

RUSI’s analysis found two cargo vessels have repeatedly transported hundreds of containers from North Korea to Russia in recent months. RUSI said the containers have likely included munitions and other military equipment.

“This will have a very serious effect on the trajectory of the war [in Ukraine],” Jack Watling, senior research fellow for land warfare at RUSI, told the Post. “North Korea has the ability to manufacture a lot of ammunition, and it has significant stockpiles.”

The satellite images show the two ships, called Angara and Maria, being loaded with cargo at North Korea’s Rajin port, and unloaded at Russia’s Dunai Military Facility. There have been a total of five observed trips between the two locations since August, according to RUSI. 

Satellite images showed two cargo ships making multiple trips between Russia and North Korea.

Kirby said last week that North Korea was sending the cargo with the expectation that Pyongyang would receive military assistance from Russia, including fighter aircraft and surface-to-air missiles. Kirby added that the US had already observed Russian ships offloading containers in North Korea as well, which the images appear to confirm.

The satellite images also appeared to show cargo arriving and then being transported away from Dunai, likely across Russia towards the border with Ukraine, RUSI said.

“We condemn the DPRK for providing Russia with this military equipment, which will be used to attack Ukrainian cities, kill Ukrainian civilians, and further Russia’s illegitimate war,” Kirby said last week, referring to North Korea’s official name, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “We will continue to monitor for any additional DPRK arms shipments to Russia.”

Planet Labs, courtesy of Royal United Services Institute

North Korea is not the only rogue state that Russia has turned to for help in aiding its war against Ukraine; Moscow has relied heavily on Iranian-made explosive drones to terrorize Ukrainian cities, civilians, and the country’s infrastructure for over a year — a partnership that has drawn sharp criticism and condemnation from Washington.

Russian forces, meanwhile, appear to have launched a renewed ground offensive in eastern Ukraine over the past week. Kirby said Moscow’s military has been using “human wave tactics” and throwing poorly trained and equipped soldiers right into the battlefield, a repeat tactic it’s used before, although Kyiv has managed to repel the advances.   

White House image showing the transfer of weaponry.

White House

In a milestone moment on Tuesday, Ukrainian officials confirmed the first use of the US-provided MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS, in a series of devastating strikes on Russian airbases. This weapon had long been at the top of Kyiv’s wishlist, and Washington reportedly delivered it in secrecy at an earlier date.  

“Thank you to everyone who is fighting and working for Ukraine! Thank you to everyone who is helping us! And today I am especially grateful to the United States,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a statement. “Our agreements with President Biden are being implemented. And they are being implemented very accurately — ATACMS have proven themselves.”

Read the original article on Business Insider
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